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NCAA: Lions bracing for Pirates fightback

By Kristel Satumbaga

The San Beda Red Lions expect a more aggressive Lyceum squad when they face each other in Game 2 of their best-of-three finals series in NCAA men’s basketball on Monday.

The real battle begins in this game as far as the two squads are concerned with the return of Lyceum’s star CJ Perez.

The do-it-all former MVP was not around in the team’s crushing 73-60 defeat to the Lions in Game 1 after serving out his one-game suspension for failing to notify the league in writing about his intention to join this year’s PBA Rookie Draft.

“Bring it on, on Monday,” said San Beda’s graduating point-guard Robert Bolick, who is excited to play in what could be his last game in the league.

The Red Lions are only one win away from their third straight crown.

“I know that they will bounce back (with CJ’s return), but we will not back down. Our team is built for championships so it’s going to be a good fight,” Bolick added.

San Beda mentor Boyet Fernandez wants more energy and hustle from his stalwarts next time despite its lopsided Game 1 victory. The Red Lions led by as many as 25 points, but the Pirates managed to trim it down to 10 in the crunch.

“We have to control our tempo because we can’t play up and down against Lyceum,” said Fernandez. “We have to manage and take care of the basketball.”

Lyceum coach Topex Robinson, meanwhile, tries to leave the past behind despite expressing his disappointment on Perez’s suspension.