By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE league-leading Lyceum Pirates shoot for win number 14 today when they collide with the Mapua Cardinals in National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 94 action at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Currently tied with the defending champions San Beda Red Lions at the top of the heap with an identical 13-1 record, the Pirates go for the victory over the already-eliminated Cardinals (4-10) in their 4 p.m. encounter that will give them back solid leadership while also fortifying their spot for a top-two finish in the homestretch of the classification round.
Playing earlier in the day at 2 p.m. are the Arellano Chiefs (4-9) against also-rans Emilio Aguinaldo Generals (3-11).
Lyceum is coming off a bounce-back win over Arellano, 113-79, on Sept. 27 after absorbing its first defeat of the season in a prior game against the University of Perpetual Help.
Jaycee Marcelino led a balanced Pirates attack that had them going on a fast start against the Chiefs and not looking back after.
Marcelino had 21 points with reigning league most valuable player CJ Perez finishing with all-around numbers of 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
MJ Ayaay, Spencer Pretta, Raymar Caduyac, and Jeff Santos also wound up in double-digits in scoring with 16, 15, 13, and 11 points, respectively.
In said game, Lyceum broke a lot of league statistical records which include most points scored (113), most three-pointers made (14), most assists (27), most fast break points (34) and most bench points (81).
Pirates coach Topex Robinson said he was happy with the way his team responded after being dealt their first defeat of the season previously that prevented them from sweeping the elimination round for the second straight year.
“We learned from our last game [against Perpetual Help]. We lacked the needed effort last time around but such was not the case in this game,” he said at the postgame press conference.
“The loss to Perpetual Help was a wake-up call for us to work harder on the court each time,” he added.
Mapua, for its part, has lost back-to-back but is angling to finish the season on a positive note with its remaining games.
Meanwhile, Letran Knights’ Koy Galvelo was named NCAA Player Of the Week (POW) by the league press corps.
Saw limited time early in the season, Galvelo has steadily risen and helped his team to two twin victories last week where he averaged 15.5 points.
In winning the award, Galvelo beat out San Beda’s Robert Bolick, Lyceum’s Marcelino and EAC’s JP Magullano. Galvelo also became the third Letran player to win the POW award this season after veterans Bong Quinto and JP Calvo.