LYCEUM of the PHILIPPINES UNIVERSITY PIRATES
AFTER KNOCKING ON THE DOOR OF THE NCAA FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS, LYCEUM OF THE PHILIPPINES UNIVERSITY HAS FINALLY BEEN GRANTED ENTRY ALBEIT AS A “GUEST TEAM” FOR SEASON 87. THE ANNOUNCEMENT CAME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SUMMER TOURNAMENTS AND CAUGHT THEM OFF
The backcourt duo will be Shane Ko at point and team captain Kevin Lacap at the two (although he will occasionally slide into the three-spot). When Lacap does move into the forward position, Chris Cayabyab will be the gunner. Onofre Napiza or Arwin Azores will alternate at the four while Adamson refugee Allan Santos will be the man in the middle.
The Pirates have a lean team and the starters will log long minutes just to be competitive. Foul trouble will give them serious problems as they struggle to find points from the bench. During the summer, the starters were competitive with their counterparts from the other schools. However, when they went to the bench…what bench?
Two players who have accounted well for themselves will unfortunately be sitting out a year. Center John Foronda and Joseph Ambohot only enrolled at LPU in October of 2010.
The absence of these two will hurt Lyceum as they will be missing 2 6’5” bigs who could boost their lineup. Coach Bonnie Tan will only have Floricel Guevarra, Gian Mallari, Dexter Zamora, Vence Laude, and Azores to help, but who will help them? Just to be able to form a team for the summer Filoil Flying V Hanes Preseason Premier Cup, Tan
brought in two intramurals players. The squad will also have four freshmen on hand. So experience is just not there for the Pirates.
You remember the UST Growling Tigers of the past two seasons? Yep. The Pirates are like that. Short on ceiling so they call out the Bomb Squad. Bonnie Tan, who has mentored the Intramuros squad for the past five seasons, likes an up-tempo game. It’s the only way for them to compete since they do not have the ceiling to do battle within a walk-itup set. Tan likes to set up his shooters. If they can hit a few then he believes it will open up the lane for his bigs. Unfortunately, they aren’t that skilled. This is called making the most out of what you have.
Unsure of their fate whether they will be accepted or not in the NCAA, they couldn’t make a move regarding recruitment. They did not have a definite direction then. But when the announcement came, Coach Tan said, “Now, we have a chance to give a fair offer to the kids since we now have a mother league. Hopefully, through our participation in the Filoil Tournament, it would somehow encourage possible recruits to try out with us.”
They have lost a number of players to other schools through the recruitment wars. Jam Cortes and Andrei Mendoza of Letran are originally from Lyceum. Jay Santos, formerly of EAC, was also from LPU. Biboy Enguio of UE came from the Intramuros school as well.
But it’s all water under the bridge now for Tan. He just hopes that his boys will get the motivation and the drive to actually win games when the NCAA Season 87.
They have some talent to build for the future but that’s a year from now even as Guevarra and Cayabyab still have two to three years of eligibility for LPU. This season on the other hand looks to be a long one as they do not have the material to match up with most of the NCAA squads. They’ll be battling for sure and, at the end of it, will duke it out with EAC to avoid last place in the standings.
C PF SF SG PG
Allan Santos Onofre Napiza / Arwin Azores Kevin Lacap Shane Ko Chris Cayabyab