LPU all set to play in Araneta Coliseum for the very first time

LPU all set to play in Araneta Coliseum for very first time
FIRST-TIMERS. LPU will playing in a bigger stage and under brighter lights than that of the Filoil Flying V Centre's.

Lyceum of the Philippines University will be well-rested and well-prepared when it plays its first-ever NCAA Finals game on Friday.

The Pirates last saw action more than two weeks ago when they upended defending champion San Beda College.

There, they finalized their sweep of the elimination round and automatic advance into the championship round.

And so, the Intramuros-based squad was granted the luxury of a three week break which had them seeing their challengers in Colegio de San Juan de Letran, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Jose Rizal University, and San Beda go at it in successive knockout bouts.

Of course, that long layoff could have also been a detriment to a crew that, throughout the tournament, had looked like it was playing at a level above everybody else.

That’s not the case, however, if head coach Topex Robinson is to be believed. “We could choose to make it an advantage for us being away for a while or a disadvantage – we chose the first. We want it to be an advantage for us,” he said.

And so, LPU went scouting five days before its first-ever NCAA Finals game.

Only, it wasn’t their opposing team they scouted. Instead, it was the venue they were going to be playing in.

“We just wanna visualize kung ano yung mangyayari in the next few weeks so that’s the reason we went here,” Robinson told reporters as he and his boys were present at the Araneta Coliseum watching Ateneo de Manila University take on University of Sto. Tomas on Saturday.

He then continued, “It’s really about sharing to the players how special it is to be here and watching the games, mentally preparing ourselves for the battle.”

The NCAA’s elimination round games are all played at the Filoil Flying V Centre – except, in some instances this season, during games hosted by member-schools.

The games then move to a bigger venue for the Final Four and the Finals.

Seeing that this is the Pirates first-ever Finals, first-ever playoff appearance really, it will also be their first-ever time playing on a bigger stage and under brighter lights than those of the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Along with that, Robinson said they also wanted to see how their undefeated counterparts in the UAAP were doing. “Right now, we are happy to be here. Obviously, we wanna watch Ateneo play,” he expressed.

Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin has previously stated that he and Robinson can learn a lot from each other.

Apparently, the LPU mentor shares the same sentiment. “We’re excited to watch Ateneo play and I hope we could really copy what they are doing,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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