NATIONAL Collegiate Athletic Association Season 94 leaders San Beda Red Lions and Lyceum Pirates reengage today with the former seeking some payback after falling in their first encounter in the tournament.
Set for 4 p.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan, the league-leading and defending champions Lions (15-1) are out to level their tournament series with the Pirates (15-2) and make up for their 73-66 loss in the first round of the eliminations back in August.
In said game, San Beda was in the contest until a late charge by Lyceum gave the Pirates the leverage to go on and take the game.
Four Lions scored in double digits, led by Donald Tankoua with 19 points, but it was not enough to get the better of Lyceum, which with the win kept its unblemished record intact at that time.
San Beda is coming off a drubbing of the Arellano Chiefs, 90-52, on Oct. 11, led by Javee Mocon who had 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Mocon said they hope to use the victory as a springboard to turn the tables on the Pirates in their second meeting.
“Hopefully we can use this win as a springboard heading into our game against Lyceum, especially for our bench. We need them in that game. We want to exact payback on Pirates,” said Mocon heading into today’s game.
The Lyceum pirates, meanwhile, won in its last game against the College of St. Benilde Blazers, 77-64.
Reigning league most valuable player CJ Perez paced the Pirates against the Blazers on Oct. 11 with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and four steals.
Like San Beda, Lyceum said it is looking forward to round two of the Lions-Pirates series even as it said it is expecting nothing less of a tough battle anew.
“We really look up to them (San Beda) as role models and how a team should be run. We have so much respect for San Beda and we know how hard it is to beat them, they will always bring the best out of our team,” said Lyceum coach Topex Robinson following their win over St. Benilde.
Incidentally, the game could well decide who gets to take the top spot heading into the Final Four, which begins next week. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo