Navarro, Valdez shine as Pirates nip Altas for solo lead
Renzo Navarro is not only a crafty passer, he’s also armed with steely nerves.
The cat-quick Navarro showed that when he scored four pressure-packed free throws in the last 13.2 seconds as Lyceum outlasted University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 82-77, Wednesday in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Paco Arena.
Navarro’s four gift shots likewise preserved the heroics of Enoch Valdez, who sparked the team’s decisive run that enabled the Pirates to extend their winning run to four games.
That gave them the solo lead with a 4-1 mark.
Navarro finished with 9 points, four assists and three rebounds.
Valdez had 13 points, three rebounds and two steals, Mac Guadaña chipped in 12 points while Shawn Umali added 10 points, eight boards and two steals for the Pirates.
Valdez’s impressive all-around performance as proven by his +9 efficiency rating inside the court also earned him glowing words from coach Gilbert Malabanan.
The Altas, who fell to 2-3, dominated the Pirates in the first two quarters, taking a 44-35 halftime time lead.
But with Navarro and Valdez at the helm, the Pirates started to pile up points that slowly changed the complexion of the game.
LPU 82 ˗ Valdez 13, Guadaña 12, Umali 10, Peñafiel 9, Navarro 9, Cunanan 9, Barba 7, Montaño 5, Bravo 4, Larupay 2, Vinoya 2, Villegas 0.
Perpetual 77 ˗ Razon 18, Aurin 16, Abis 11, Omega 8, Nitura 8, Martel 6, Egan 5, Flores 2, Boral 2, Barcuma 1, Cuevas 0, Roque 0, Orgo 0, Nunez 0.
Quarters: 13-20, 35-44, 63-56, 82-77.