Filoil tournament Mythical Team member CJ Perez tries to elude the defense of MJ Dela Virgen in their battle-for-third game (Photo by Jamil Buergo)
With the NCAA season just around the corner, Lyceum established itself as a Final Four contender with a 82-75 win over Jose Rizal University in the final day of the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Lyceum finished the tournament with a 8-3 win-loss record, where the three losses came only from the Filoil finalists De La Salle University (twice) and San Beda.
Since joining the NCAA in 2011, the Pirates have never made the NCAA Final Four. With their preseason performance, they are definitely on track to making their first playoff appearance. “The (third place) finish is about the journey we’re into. It’s a result of the bigger things we’re looking ahead” said Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson.
But when a team starts winning, that’s when other teams take notice and that’s what Coach Topex would rather embrace. “Teams are going to prepare harder against us but it is where we wanna be so we’re up to the challenge.” explains Robinson.
Lyceum transferee and Filoil tournament Mythical Team member CJ Perez had an all-around performance for the Pirates with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and a block in 35 minutes of action. Harry Nzeusseu backed him up with 12 points and 14 rebounds while Jasper Ayaay and Jaycee Marcelino scored 11 points each for Lyceum.
Ervin Grospe topscored for the Heavy Bombers with 17 points while Razak Abdulwahab had 11 points and 21 rebounds.
Earlier, the Mapua Red Robins beat Ateneo Blue Eaglets 89-82 to take the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup juniors crown. Four players scored double figures for the Red Robins led by Clint Escamis’ 23 points. Warren Bonifacio had 18 points while Will Gozum and Joaquin Garcia scored 17 and 14 points respectively.
Second-generation players Dave Ildefonso (son of Danny Ildefonso) and Kai Sotto (son of Ervin Sotto) paced the Blue Eaglets with 16 and 15 points respectively.
MIT (89) – Escamis 23, Bonifacio 18, Gozum 17, Garcia 14, Lacap 9, Enriquez 4, Jabel 4, Dennison 0, Ramos 0.
ADMU (82) – Ildefonso 16, Sotto 15, Manuel 13, Belangel 9, Jaymalin 9, Chiu 5, Credo 4, Gusi 4, David 3, Angeles 2, Escalona 2, Tanedo 0.
Quarterscores: 16-19; 41-43; 59-62; 89-82
Seniors Battle for Third
LPU (82) – Perez 14, Nzeusseu 12, Ayaay 11, Marcelino JC 11, Pretta 9, Tansingco 7, Baltazar 6, Marcelino JV 5, Ibanez 3, Caduyac 3, Liwag 1, Marata 0, Cinco 0.
JRU (75) – Grospe 17, Dela Virgen 14, Abdul Wahab 11, Mendoza 8, Poutuouchi 8, Teodoro 5, Lasquety 4, Castor 3, Bordon 3, David 2, Mate 0.
Quarterscores: 17-12; 41-34; 61-55; 82-75.