By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
OPENING-DAY victors San Beda Red Lions and Lyceum Pirates go for back-to-back wins in Season 95 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association when they take on separate opponents today at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
Got their respective campaigns in the brand-new season of the country’s oldest collegiate league on a high note, the Lions and Pirates look sustain such start and keep their records unblemished.
San Beda takes on the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers (0-1) in the 12 noon opener while Lyceum battles the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals (0-1) at 4 p.m.
In between is the collision between the Letran Knights (0-1) and Arellano Chiefs (0-1) at 2 p.m.
The Lions defeated the Chiefs, 59-46, on opening day of Season 95 on July 7.
Arellano did a good job in keeping the game close for much of the time but failed to keep in step with the defending champion in the homestretch from which it could not recover from.
Donald Tankoua led San Beda to the victory, finishing with 13 points and 12 rebounds, followed by James Kwekuteye who had 10 points and seven boards.
Guard Evan Nelle finished with nine points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals for the Lions.
“We’re happy with the win. It was not easy and Arellano played well. But thankfully the players stepped up as the game progressed,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez following their victory.
Also looking to emerge on top is Lyceum, an 84-80 winner over Letran also on opening day.
The Pirates banked on their trademark hustle and energy on both ends of the court to go on a ferocious run down the stretch to overwhelm the Knights and book their first win in Season 95.
Lyceum, which played sans import Mike Nseusseu who was out with a fractured finger, was led in the victory by Jaycee Marcelino with 24 points while his twin Jayvee had 18 markers.
Guard Reymar Caduyac, meanwhile, finished with 16 points of his own for the Pirates.
“It was a tough win for us. But more than the result, it was how we played and hopefully we could continue it,” said Lyceum coach Topex Robinson of the manner they showed grit and determination in booking the win.