Perez-Nzeusseu wrecking crew has LPU thinking big
Alvin Laqui on Jun 29, 2017 10:32 AM
PARTNER-IN-CRIME. Now that he has one of the best playing alongside him, the sky is the limit for Mike Nzeusseu as well as the LPU Pirates.
Last season, Lyceum of the Philippines University big man Mike Nzeusseu did his best with what he had.
Nzeusseu was a constant double-double threat, all while proving to be a key piece in LPU's slow rise in the ranks as they won two more games than the previous season.
The Pirates leaned heavily on Nzeusseu’s all-around brilliance, but the Cameroonian could only do so much.
Although Nzeusseu won Rookie of the Year for Season 92, the Intramuros-based squad missed out on the Final Four by a wide margin, finishing 9th with a lowly 6-12 record.
But all of that happened nearly a year ago. This is now.
If you asked Nzeusseu right now about the Pirates’ expectations in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament, you’ll get an answer that just oozes with newfound confidence.
Nzeusseu believes the Pirates are a lock for the semifinals - and, more importantly, the title. “Me, personally, yeah, I don't even see elimination,” he said, “I'll go straight for the Final Four and the championship.”
“We wanna win. We wanna win the championship. We wanna win, that’s the bottomline,” he stressed.
But Nzeusseu knows it won’t come easy.
“We have no control of tomorrow, we still have to keep working hard, even harder, so that the NCAA and the Final Four can be easy for us,” he said.
Though the Pirates are not the clear favorites heading into the season, Nzeusseu’s claims aren’t all that farfetched.
He is after all, talking about the same revamped squad that gave reigning UAAP champions De La Salle University a run for their money in two painfully close games in the 2017 FilOil Flying V Preseason Tournament.
The rejuvenated play that led to their surprise preseason success can be attributed to the huge boost given by high-flying swingman CJ Perez.
“CJ is always big. Before Lyceum, after Lyceum, he's always going to be big,” Nzeusseu said.
Nzeusseu hopes the new face in Intramuros continues to play big for the Pirates as coach Topex Robinson is raring to unleash a deadly one-two punch that’s ready to cause some problems in the NCAA.
“I always tell him (CJ) to do his thing, because no matter what I got his back,” Nzeusseu said, “I know it's not easy to carry a team on his own, so I always tell him, when gametime comes, do not think about anything, I got him. I'll be talking to the team, I'll take care of all of them, he just needs to be focusing on his game.”
But their duo could only cause destruction when they work harmoniously together. Fortunately for the faithful over at Intramuros, Nzeusseu has learned a lot during his first year, and he plans to use his experience in getting Perez to focus on what’s important.
“The main goal now is not to let that name CJ get into his head because at the end of the day, he cannot win alone, he needs us,” he said, “The same way I cannot win alone, I need him, I need them.”
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