By Jerome Lagunzad
2 p.m.- EAC vs Lyceum (J)
4 p.m.- EAC vs Lyceum (S)
Emilio Aguinaldo College tries to achieve what six other teams failed to do so far against Lyceum in the NCAA seniors basketball tournament as the Generals play host to the marauding Pirates today at their home floor in Taft, Manila.
But the Generals will have to do it without the intimidating presence of Cameroonian center Lamadou Haminou who hobbled his way to the dugout after injuring his left knee in the course of their 85-79 victory over the Arellano University Chiefs last Tuesday.
Make no mistake about it, EAC, currently at third spot with a 3-2 mark, intends to extend its own winning streak to three in the latest edition of “NCAA On Tour” set at 4 p.m. and stop the streaking Lyceum side which has foiled its first six foes in style.
“We will do everything. We will do everything,” stressed EAC coach Ariel Sison, keeping himself optimistic despite facing the specter of playing minus the 6-foot-10 Laminou, who has yet to recover his sharp form after sustaining a torn MCL (medial collateral ligament) injury in his right knee more than two months ago.
“We’re looking to be the first team to beat LPU. We will not allow them to beat us on our home court. Hopefully we will enough (tools) to beat them.”
Foremost among Sison’s dependable weapons will be do-it-all forward Sidney Onwubere who could help fill in the slack left by Laminou after pumping in 17 points, spiked by four booming triples, and 14 rebounds on top of three assists, as many blocks and a steal the last time out.
The 6-foot-4 Onwubere could also get ample support from the likes of veteran guard Francis Munsayac, Jerome Garcia, Jesse Bautista and Jeric Diego to help EAC hold its ground against Lyceum’s potent crew led by touted guard CJ Perez.
The 6-foot-1 Fil-Nigerian is accounting for a league-best 19.2 points on top of 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and two steals per game while getting enough help from the likes of combo guard MJ Ayaay, wingman Wilson Baltazar, Cameroonian big man Mike Nzeusseu and the Marcelino twins – Jaycee and Jayvee.