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Rampaging Pirates eye 5th NCAA win

By Jerome Lagunzad

Games Today
(The Arena, San Juan City)
8 a.m. — EAC vs Perpetual Help (J)
10 a.m. — Lyceum vs Mapua (J)
12 noon — EAC vs Perpetual Help (S)
2 p.m. — Lyceum vs Mapua (S)
4 p.m. — St. Benilde vs Arellano (S)
6 p.m. — St. Benilde vs Arellano (S)

Weather-permitting, Lyceum intends to sustain its own destructive storm in the NCAA seniors basketball tournament today when the fearsome Pirates square off with the under-strength Mapua Cardinals at The Arena in San Juan City.

Off to their best start since joining the league in 2011, the Pirates are favored to stretch their unbeaten start to five games in their 2 p.m. showdown with the Cardinals, who have yet to find their once steady flight in the absence of reigning two-time league MVP Allwell Oraeme.

While blue-chip recruit CJ Perez continues to prove he’s as good as advertised, Lyceum’s third-year coach Topex Robinson is also getting significant contributions from other less heralded Pirates, like the Marcelino twins – Jaycee and Jayvee – who displayed their defensive brilliance against Arellano University star Kent Salado in their dominant 99-65 win last Tuesday.

“We want to keep on winning. It’s a result of our culture,” he said. “The way we’re gonna manage our egos and our prides will really be key for us. Always being humble, always knowing that we’re just there because of these opportunities.”

Such kind of good fortunes, however, has been scarce for Mapua, a Final Four participant in the last two seasons but has been groping for form so far, with the Cardinals dropping their last two matches and three overall after four starts.