HAD their outright bid to collar the second seed in the playoffs of Season 95 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association denied in their last game, the Lyceum Pirates make another go at it when they take on the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers at 2 p.m. today at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
At solo second entering the game, the Pirates (12-4) shoot for their 13th victory in the tournament that would effectively shut the door on their closest pursuers for the second seed in the Letran Knights (10-6) and San Sebastian Stags (9-6).
Already assured of the top seed are the defending champions San Beda Red Lions (16-0).
The Pirates had a chance to barge into the top two heading into the Final Four in their previous game but saw the rug pulled from under them by the Stags, 73-71.
Lyceum had control of their match against San Sebastian on Oct. 8 only for it to falter in the end to fall to its first loss in seven games.
Jaycee Marcelino and Mike Nzeusseu had solid outings for the Pirates but saw them go for naught with the Stags coming from behind for the two-point win.
Marcelino finished with 21 points and six rebounds with Nzeusseu tallying a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Standing between the Pirates and the second seed are the Bombers (4-11), who despite already out of the running are looking to finish their campaign in their remaining games on a high note.
JRU has lost four straight entering the contest, the last one at the hands of the Perpetual Help Altas.
Agem Miranda is the top scorer for the Louie Gonzalez-coached Bombers with 13.8 points per game, followed by John Amores (9.7 ppg) and Marvin Dionisio (9.2 ppg).
Also playing today are Letran against Perpetual Help (5-10) at 12 noon and the season hosts Arellano Chiefs (4-11) versus the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals (3-12). — Michael Angelo S. Murillo