Will deeper mean better for Perez and Ayaay-less LPU in NCAA 95?

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 05, 2019 06:16 PM
Will deeper mean better for Perez and Ayaay-less LPU?
The Marcelino twins, once castoffs, will now lead an LPU crew setting out to keep sailing even sans ex-MVP CJ Perez and team captain MJ Ayaay

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 15-3, runner-up

YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Reymar Caduyac, Jaycee Marcelino, Jayvee Marcelino, Mike Nzeusseu

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Jayson David, Jerwyn Guinto, Renzo Navarro

GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: MJ Ayaay, CJ Perez

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM LPU?

For the second straight season, Lyceum of the Philippines University had a dominant elimination round before getting swept in the Finals.

Still, at the end of it all, that didn’t matter for the Pirates whose vision-mission has always been inspiring others.

“We’re just so excited with the opportunity for us. For us, it’s all about how we stay in the competition. It’s always about sustaining that kind ng paglalaro namin.” – head coach Topex Robinson

And with CJ Perez and MJ Ayaay now showcasing their skills in the PBA, the upstart team from Intramuros have done just that in the last two years even without a championship to show for it.

“We will honor them, thanking them for bringing us to where we are right now. At the same time, we’ll also welcome yung challenge sa players namin on what legacy you want to bring, how do you want to be remembered? We always have that kind of mentality na what can I do today that my future self can be proud of?” – head coach Topex Robinson

Now in NCAA Season 95, inspiring others would remain their focus as Adamson University castaways Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino take the mantle of leadership.

Alongside them would still be Cameroonian Mike Nzeusseu, who has long been one of the most consistent foreign student-athletes, as well as Reymar Caduyac, who has long been seldom talked about but nonetheless steady.

LPU would also be welcoming with open arms San Sebastian College-Recoletos Jayson David and Renzo Navarro who are sure to waste no time in taking their places as contributors to their new crew’s continued contention.

“We have good acquisitions, new guys who are proven winners. Yun ang exciting for us.” – head coach Topex Robinson

WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM LPU?

The Marcelino twins took the league by storm as rookies and then only kept making mayhem as sophomores.

Now, they would carry a heavier burden as not only would they be called upon for their energy and intensity, they would also have to amp up the aggression on offense.

Meanwhile, Nzeusseu and Caduyac are already known quantities and so, just about everybody’s sights would shift to whether or not David could harness his potential as a two-way force and if Navarro could be the calm to the Marcelinos’ storm.

WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR LPU?

LPU is the definition of an upstart – a young team who only joined the first and oldest collegiate league in 2012 and needed only five years to be a legitimate contender.

The Pirates have the studs in the Marcelinos and Nzeusseu; the role players in Caduyac, David, and Navarro; the brilliant tactician in Topex Robinson; and the rabid fanbase – the only thing that’s missing is the championship.

And until they get that, they would remain as lovable upstarts in the Grand Old League.

WHERE WOULD LPU BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 95?

LPU would not be sinking out of the Final Four anytime soon.

While the Pirates lost an MVP in Perez and a leader in Ayaay, they are armed with a deeper team that counts the Marcelino twins, Nzeusseu, Caduyac, David, and Navarro as key cogs who would also have the likes of Nino Ibanez, Spencer Pretta, Jeff Santos, Tosi Tansincgo, and Enoch Valdez flanking them.

“We don’t have a go-to-guy per se, but we have a lot of guys who are willing to contribute and are going to make our season exciting.” – head coach Topex Robinson

That depth just may be their trump card in NCAA Season 95 – a year wherein the field is as wide open as it has ever been.

WHEN IS LPU’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 95?

LPU has no time to waste as its first assignment in the season is a tough test coming from Intramuros Colegio de San Juan de Letran on July 7 at MOA Arena.

As always, the latest season of the first and oldest collegiate league in the country will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream.

HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE NINE OTHER TEAMS IN NCAA SEASON 95:

Young guns to be wind beneath JRU’s wings for NCAA 95

EAC turning over a new leaf for NCAA 95

Kent Salado back in the driver's seat for Arellano in NCAA 95

Mapua Srs. out to reap the rewards of its champion Jrs. team

Health only thing standing in way of Baste's best shot at a title

Will third time be the charm for TY Tang-coached CSB?

Without a prince, Perps hoping it's still an heir to throne

Letran's Walls of Intramuros still stand strong

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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