NCAA Sea­son 94 Fi­nals: Lyceum Pi­rates look­ing for­ward to Game Two with a full com­ple­ment

Business World - - Sports World - Michael An­gelo S. Murillo

STRUG­GLED in the series-opener of their best-of-three Na­tional Col­le­giate Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion Sea­son 94 fi­nals series on Tues­day as they played un­der­manned, the Lyceum Pi­rates are now turn­ing their at­ten­tion on Game Two next week with a full com­ple­ment as they wel­come back top man CJ Perez.

Never re­ally got their game go­ing un­til late in the fourth pe­riod, the Pi­rates were at the mercy of the San Beda Red Lions for much of Game One of their NCAA fi­nals re­match.

The ab­sence of reign­ing league most valu­able player Perez proved to be too hard to over­come for Lyceum as it grap­pled early in the game to find its col­lec­tive groove and got buried deep from which it could not re­cover from.

Perez, the team’s lead­ing scorer and top en­ergy guy, was banned for the series-opener af­ter be­ing ruled by the NCAA in vi­o­la­tion of league rules when he ap­plied for the Philip­pine Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion rookie draft with­out for­mally in­form­ing the NCAA about it.

League rules stip­u­late that those ap­ply­ing for the PBA draft must first in­form the NCAA in writ­ing of their in­ten­tion be­fore sub­mit­ting their ap­pli­ca­tion, some­thing Perez and his han­dlers were re­port­edly not able to do.

While in­sist­ing that Perez should have been al­lowed to play in Game One, cit­ing sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions in the past and un­der­scor­ing how his player “did not do any­thing wrong” like, say, take drugs or played in non-NCAA-sanc­tioned tour­na­ments in the off­sea­son, Lyceum coach Topex Robin­son is choos­ing to move on, be­liev­ing that the dam­age has been done and they have to fo­cus now on the next game and ex­tend the series.

Mr. Robin­son said they are tak­ing cue from their spir­ited fight back at the end of Game One that saw them re­duc­ing what was a 27-point lead early in the fourth pe­riod, 66-39, to just 10 points with minute left in the game.

“We could have just rolled over and died but we did not. We’re still in this and we’re ex­cited for Game Two,” said Mr. Robin­son.

Game Two of the series is set for Mon­day, Nov. 12, and Mr. Robin­son said they will use the nearly a week lull to pre­pare hard with Perez fig­ur­ing in their at­tack.

“We have a week to re­cover. We’ll try to see what ad­just­ments we can make,” he said.

“We have to bring it on Mon­day and we’re ex­cited to have CJ Perez back in our lineup,” Mr. Robin­son added.

With Perez re­turn­ing, the Pi­rates get added con­tri­bu­tion across the board with the grad­u­at­ing player av­er­ag­ing 18.7 points, 8.4 re­bounds, 3.9 as­sists and 3.3 steals a game. —


THE LYCEUM PI­RATES look to move past the is­sue that hounded Game One of their best-of-three NCAA fi­nals with the San Beda Red Lions and get the win in the sec­ond game to ex­tend the series.

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