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Pirates survive rough sailing, book win No. 8

MANILA, Philippines — Lyceum of the Philippines went to Jearlan Omandac and Renz Villegas when it mattered as it survived Emilio Aguinaldo College, 81-78, yesterday to reposition itself as a legitimate title contender in NCAA Season 99 at the Filoil EcoOil Arena.

Omandac uncorked nine of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter while Villegas dropped six of his 13 points late as the Pirates booked their eighth win in 11 outings.

For a time, it looked like LPU was on a downward spiral as it dropped three straight after stringing together six wins in a row to start the season.

But after their overtime win over JRU last game plus yesterday’s crucial triumph, it has jumped back to its earlier reputation as a serious title contender.

LPU coach Gilbert Malabanan, however, isn’t counting the chickens before they are hatched.

“Malayo pa, marami pa kami pagdadaanan,” stressed Malabanan.