Zark’s Burger-Lyceum refused to lose and pulled off an 82-77 victory over Centro Escolar University to advance to the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup semifinals Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
After being down 11, 72-61, with 7:27 remaining, the Jawbreakers staged a 21-5 finishing salvo to stun the Scorpions and overcome the twice-to-beat disadvantage in the quarterfinals.
Jayvee Marcelino poured 17 points to lead Zark’s-Lyceum in scoring, but it was MJ Ayaay who steered his side to the victory with 15 markers, four boards, five steals, and four blocks.
Cameroonian big man Mike Nzeusseu also poured 12 points, 16 rebounds, and four rejections, while Jaycee Marcelino got 10 markers, seven assists, and three boards for the Jawbreakers, which weathered the graduation of CJ Perez with 4:54 on the clock.
“During halftime, I just reminded them to just enjoy the game and that gave them more freedom to play,” said coach Topex Robinson.
Zark’s-Lyceum now turn its attention to Marinerong Pilipino in the best-of-three semifinals slated on Tuesday.
It was a tough defeat for a CEU squad which came to the playoffs as the three-seed and even led by 18 points, 30-12 early in the game.
Congolese bruiser Rod Ebondo anchored the Scorpions with 22 points and 16 rebounds and got ample help from the local crew.
Art Aquino fired 16 markers and 11 boards, while Orlan Wamar had 11, but CEU failed to execute in the end game and bowed out of the tournament.
ZARK’S BURGER-LYCEUM 82 — Jv. Marcelino 17, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 12, Jc. Marcelino 10, Perez 8, Tansingco 6, Caduyac 5, Serrano 4, Yong 3, Pretta 2, Cinco 0, Ibañez 0.
CEU 77 — Ebondo 22, Aquino 16, Wamar 11, Guinitaran 10, Cruz 6, Fuentes 4, Caballero 3, Manlangit 3, Arim 2, Chan 0, Galinato 0, Intic 0, Veron 0.
Quarters: 15-30, 37-45, 56-65, 82-77.