NCAA Season 93 Preview: Lyceum Pirates challenged by dark horse label
Head coach: Topex Robinson
Last season: 6-12 (9th)
Holdovers: MJ Ayaay, Wilson Baltazar, Mike Nzeusseu
Key losses: Shaq Alanes, Jebb Bulawan, Joseph Gabayni
Key additions: CJ Perez, Jaycee Marcelino, Jayvee Marcelino, Spencer Pretta
For the past years, Lyceum has never been considered a serious threat to the NCAA title with traditional power San Beda almost making the championship its personal property.
The Pirates have never won the big prize since they entered the league in 2011, but head coach Topex Robinson sees bigger things happening in Season 93.
“We’re looking at the big picture, our goal is to be known as a good basketball program,” said Robinson. “We have to remind these guys to always be hungry.”
“We’re looking past the championships, ours is the culture we want to promote. That’s bigger than the championship, the championship is the result of what we’re doing right now.”
Robinson knows Lyceum will be on the crosshairs of the other NCAA teams and he’s looking for the challenge of trying to break the almost decade-long championship monopoly of San Beda.
“We’ll be marked in the season but that’s part of the challenge, we can be in the bottom and be contented or we could be there with the pressure of being out of the comfort zone, this is exciting for us.”
Spearheading the Pirates campaign is versatile swingman CJ Perez, who once played for San Sebastian and stayed for one year at Ateneo.
Perez, though, is not alone in Lyceum’s pursuit of excellence.
The Marcelino twins of Jaycee and Jayvee are welcome additions to Robinson’s up-tempo style of play with the Pirates utilizing a press-and-trap defense, relentless attacks and back cuts to free up space.
Wilson Baltazar, a proven shooter, is one of the main guys that will space the floor for the Pirates while big man Mike Nzeusseu provides the tenacity underneath.