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NCAA Finals: It could ve been a better Finals -- Robinson

Lyceum of the Philippines University head coach Topex Robinson accepted the fact that San Beda University pushed their backs against the wall after taking Game 1 of the NCAA Season 94 seniors basketball Finals. Robinson admitted that they were shooting bricks, committing turnovers and seemed to have lost the energy and drive while allowing the three-peat seeking Red Lions chase them out of the MOA Arena during the match. But what ticked the mentor the most was the event that happened outside of the basketball court just 24 hours before tipoff that put a handicap on LPU in the biggest stage of the season. The Pirates marched into the war without its most important weapon in CJ Perez after the league slapped him with a one-game ban for failing to notify the NCAA that he filed an application for the PBA Draft.     “The reason it's painful for us is because CJ didn't do anything wrong. Hindi naman siya nag-ligang labas. Kung naglarong labas sana siya at nahuli, I would accept that. But I don't know,” said Topex. “The kid didn't do anything wrong.” Without Perez, LPU was deprived of a player that has been averaging 18.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 3.3 steals per game. San Beda won the game, 73-60, and even Red Lions head coach Boyet Fernandez did some math and thought that the complexion of the championship rematch opener could be a bit different if Perez was there.  “With CJ there, if you look at it, we only beat them by 13 so idagdag mo 18 ni CJ, talo pa kami,” said Fernandez. Robinson agreed. “It could've been a better Finals,” he said. “It's no guarantee that we're going to win but you want your best player in the game. He deserves to be there. That's just the way I feel.” “I'm speaking on my behalf, not of the school. I'm speaking as a father to a son that lost an opportunity to play in the Finals,” added a disappointed Robinson. “I don't know how you call it but life is really unfair. We have to accept the fact that again, we have a game to play.” Robinson also cited a precedent that happened back 11 years ago when then Red Lion Yousif Aljamal got away with a season ban after being drafted in the PBA as No. 8 overall pick by Air21 while the season was still ongoing. San Beda filed a Temporary Restraining Order and the NCAA retracted from its decision as Aljamal eventually helped the Red Lions win its second title under then mentor Frankie Lim.  “If they had a chance that back in 2007... Kumbaga, if those are the rules, it has to be the rules. Kumbaga, yun lang ako. Wag yung pabago bago. Kung nagawa na yun dati, pinayagan at nagawan ng paraan, yun lang sana,” said Robinson. “I don't want to put the blame on whoever makes those rules. We're just here to follow them I just hope there will be consistency. If there's players at fault, let them face it. “’Wag nilang itago yung mali at gagawan nila ng paraan. Yun lang sa akin. I'm speaking on my behalf again. If they're gonna hate me, so be it,” he continued. “I'm speaking here not as a coach of LPU but as a father to CJ and I just feel about the pain he has to go through.” “He's there helplessly watching the game from wherever. Kung may ginawa sanang mali eh. Kung nag-drugs yan o gumawa ng kalokohan.” LPU will have a week to prepare for a bounce back and Perez will be back in action for Game 2 on Monday. “We're excited to have CJ back. I hope he doesn't enter the draft again,” said Robinson on a lighter note. “He'll be ready for Game Two.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnNov 6th, 2018

Topex Robinson won t be suspended for NCAA Finals Game 2

MANILA, Philippines  – Lyceum coach Topex Robinson will be at the sidelines when the Pirates try to force a do-or-die NCAA title showdown against the San Beda Red Lions on Monday, November 12.  NCAA Management Committee chairman Frank Gusi announced on Thursday that Robinson, along with College of St. Benilde (CSB) ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 8th, 2018

Topex Robinson rips NCAA on consistency regarding rules

MANILA, Philippines – When Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson arrived at the Mall of Asia Arena press room after their 60-73 loss  in the NCAA Finals Game 1 against San Beda, he revealed a side of him that not many have seen. The usually amiable tactician still wore a smile, but ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 6th, 2018

NCAA Finals: It could ve been a better Finals -- Robinson

Lyceum of the Philippines University head coach Topex Robinson accepted the fact that San Beda University pushed their backs against the wall after taking Game 1 of the NCAA Season 94 seniors basketball Finals. Robinson admitted that they were shooting bricks, committing turnovers and seemed to have lost the energy and drive while allowing the three-peat seeking Red Lions chase them out of the MOA Arena during the match. But what ticked the mentor the most was the event that happened outside of the basketball court just 24 hours before tipoff that put a handicap on LPU in the biggest stage of the season. The Pirates marched into the war without its most important weapon in CJ Perez after the league slapped him with a one-game ban for failing to notify the NCAA that he filed an application for the PBA Draft.     “The reason it's painful for us is because CJ didn't do anything wrong. Hindi naman siya nag-ligang labas. Kung naglarong labas sana siya at nahuli, I would accept that. But I don't know,” said Topex. “The kid didn't do anything wrong.” Without Perez, LPU was deprived of a player that has been averaging 18.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 3.3 steals per game. San Beda won the game, 73-60, and even Red Lions head coach Boyet Fernandez did some math and thought that the complexion of the championship rematch opener could be a bit different if Perez was there.  “With CJ there, if you look at it, we only beat them by 13 so idagdag mo 18 ni CJ, talo pa kami,” said Fernandez. Robinson agreed. “It could've been a better Finals,” he said. “It's no guarantee that we're going to win but you want your best player in the game. He deserves to be there. That's just the way I feel.” “I'm speaking on my behalf, not of the school. I'm speaking as a father to a son that lost an opportunity to play in the Finals,” added a disappointed Robinson. “I don't know how you call it but life is really unfair. We have to accept the fact that again, we have a game to play.” Robinson also cited a precedent that happened back 11 years ago when then Red Lion Yousif Aljamal got away with a season ban after being drafted in the PBA as No. 8 overall pick by Air21 while the season was still ongoing. San Beda filed a Temporary Restraining Order and the NCAA retracted from its decision as Aljamal eventually helped the Red Lions win its second title under then mentor Frankie Lim.  “If they had a chance that back in 2007... Kumbaga, if those are the rules, it has to be the rules. Kumbaga, yun lang ako. Wag yung pabago bago. Kung nagawa na yun dati, pinayagan at nagawan ng paraan, yun lang sana,” said Robinson. “I don't want to put the blame on whoever makes those rules. We're just here to follow them I just hope there will be consistency. If there's players at fault, let them face it. “’Wag nilang itago yung mali at gagawan nila ng paraan. Yun lang sa akin. I'm speaking on my behalf again. If they're gonna hate me, so be it,” he continued. “I'm speaking here not as a coach of LPU but as a father to CJ and I just feel about the pain he has to go through.” “He's there helplessly watching the game from wherever. Kung may ginawa sanang mali eh. Kung nag-drugs yan o gumawa ng kalokohan.” LPU will have a week to prepare for a bounce back and Perez will be back in action for Game 2 on Monday. “We're excited to have CJ back. I hope he doesn't enter the draft again,” said Robinson on a lighter note. “He'll be ready for Game Two.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 6th, 2018

NCAA upholds decision to suspend LPU s Perez for Finals Game 1

CJ Perez will not be suiting up, and will not even be in the venue, when Lyceum of the Philippines University clashes with San Beda University in Game 1 of the NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Finals. The league has stood by its initial decision after reviewing the Pirates’ appeal. “The Policy Board resolves that the appeal filed by Lyceum is denied… and Mr. Perez is hereby suspended on the scheduled game (on Tuesday),” it said in a memo released on Monday. Earlier in the day, it was reported that the NCAA has suspended Perez for one game after he filed his application for the 2018 PBA Draft, but failed to inform the league’s Management Committee (ManCom) about it. Explaining its decision, the league said that Perez violated a rule which states that “an athlete may apply for draft in (the PBA) provided he must inform the ManCom in writing and is duly endorsed by his school representative to the ManCom.” Perez will be serving his one-game suspension in the opener of the best-of-three championship series on Tuesday at the MOA Arena. As such, LPU will be missing his per game counts of 18.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 3.3 steals. With or without their graduating swingman, head coach Topex Robinson said he and his wards will trudge through. “Hindi ko na kontrolado yun. Basta ako, I’m here to win a championship and I’m gonna focus my 100 percent tomorrow,” he said. The Pirates and the Red Lions split their two meetings in the season. A year ago in the Finals, though, the Pirates were swept by the Red Lions. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 5th, 2018

LPU runs roughshod on Letran to rush into NCAA 94 Finals

Lyceum of the Philippines will be vying for the championship for the second straight season in the 94th NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Pirates officially booked a return trip to the Finals after running away from and then gunning down Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 109-85, on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Head coach Topex Robinson got contributions from up and down the lineup in their first-ever Final Four game in history. However, it wasn’t until Knights’ court general JP Calvo went down with an injury that LPU broke free. Calvo suffered an apparent left leg injury early in the third. Still, Letran was able to rally around him for a while as Koy Galvelo’s corner three actually granted them their first lead of the game, 56-55, at the 6:05 mark of the quarter. It was at that point, however, that the Pirates exploited Calvo’s absence and put their opponents in a pressure cooker. From there, they went on a 15-0 tear built on turnover points for a 70-56 edge. The Knights would never recover from that point as main man Bong Quinto was also shackled down. In the end, Mike Nzeusseu topped the scoring column for LPU with a 23-point, 17-rebound double-double while CJ Perez made a mark all over with 19 markers, five boards, four steals, and three assists. Jaycee Marcelino and Spencer Pretta also added 15 points apiece as second-seed LPU aced its first-ever test in the playoffs. They now turn their attention to either defending champion San Beda University or upstart University of Perpetual Help in the Finals. For Letran, Larry Muyang showed the way with 21-point, 12-rebound double-double. Quinto, playing in his last game, struggled for his standards with just 12 markers in 6-of-17 shooting from the field to go along with seven assists and six boards. Calvo, also graduating, scored nine points in just 19 minutes of play. Without him there, his team was unable to replicate its sinking of the Pirates in the second round. BOX SCORES LPU 109 — Nzeusseu 23, Perez 19, Marcelino JC 15, Pretta 15, Ayaay 11, Santos 9, Caduyac 8, Tansingco 3, Ibanez 2, Serrano 2, Yong 2, Cinco 0, Lumbao 0, Marcelino JV 0, Valdez 0 LETRAN 85 — Muyang 21, Quinto 12, Fajarito 11, Taladua 10, Ambohot 9, Calvo 9, Batiller 6, Celis 4, Galvelo 3, Agbong 0, Mandreza 0, Yu 0, Pambid 0 QUARTER SCORES: 29-16, 51-47, 81-64, 109-85 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 26th, 2018

Lyceum faces harder, but sweeter road to NCAA finals

Ildefonso 'not thinking about' UAAP rookie race, says Cansino deserves award 'It's going to be harder, but it will be sweeter,' said Robinson Thursday at Filoil Flying V Ce.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsOct 19th, 2018

Lyceum faces ‘harder, but sweeter’ road to NCAA finals

Lyceum didn't end the NCAA Season 94 men's basketball tournament elimination round the way head coach Topex Robinson wanted it to be. The Pirates again yielded to defending champion San Beda, 75-68, in their last game before their Final Four battle. Robinson, however, believes they will be better for it as they enter their first semifinal round in the NCAA. "It's going to be harder, but it will be sweeter," said Robinson Thursday at Filoil Flying V Center. "Every adversity that we went through bonds us together and that's the way I look at things." Although Lyceum lost in two games against the Red Lions in the finals of Season 93, the Pirates finished with a perfect 18-0 ...Keep on reading: Lyceum faces ‘harder, but sweeter’ road to NCAA finals.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 18th, 2018

NCAA 94: Pirates turn attention to their idols from San Beda

Over the last two NCAA seasons, Lyceum vs. San Beda is always must-see television. However, the upcoming clash between the two powerhouses in NCAA Season 94 will be a little different. For one, no team is going for a sweep. Lyceum's cloak of invincibility has been dashed and the Pirates enter with two regular season losses, which is two more than last season. Second, no team is chasing for a twice-to-beat advantages. Following Thursday's games, both the Pirates and the Red Lions have pretty much clinched their respective playoff bonuses. At least for the Pirates, the upcoming super clash between Lyceum and San Beda is all about pride and an opportunity to learn. "It's going to be a dogfight. But at the end of the day it's gonna be fun because there's so much competition between us and San Beda but there's also so much respect," Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson said. With Lyceum looking to win a breakthrough NCAA title, the Pirates are looking up to the San Beda dynasty on how to actually capture one. The Red Lions of course, have dominated the league for over a decade. San Beda's latest title came at the expense of the Pirates last season. Lyceum entered the Finals of Season 93 as undefeated challengers. "It's big for us as a program, we really look up to them," Robinson said of San Beda. "They were one of our role models on how a team should be run. It's always nice to play against the team that you idolize," he added. The tremendous amount of respect Lyceum has on San Beda also means that the Pirates know how difficult it is to overcome the Red Lions. After the Finals collapse last season, the Pirates know that their road to the title will go through San Beda one way or another. That journey starts next week. "We know how hard it is to beat them," Robinson said of the Red Lions. "We know it's gonna bring the best out of us. Yun ang importante samin, whatever the result, it's always gonna bring the best out of our team," he addded.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 11th, 2018

NCAA Season 94: Rolly, you will be missed

NCAA coaches and stars were one in saying that the passing of Rolly Manlapaz, considered as the voice of the college basketball, was a great loss in the tight-knit community. The former disk jockey and longtime UAAP and NCAA basketball barker, who also saw stints in volleyball games passed away Thursday after a bout with ALS. He was 58. “I just love the way he calls games,” said Lyceum of the Philippines head coach Topex Robinson. “Sometimes he makes it look like spooky by that sound but then again basketball will never be the same without that voice.” Manlapaz’s last stint with the NCAA was two years ago in Season 92 and called his last game four months ago in UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball Finals. His career spanned for two decades.  “I’m sure he will be remembered not only by the NCAA but by the whole basketball community,” he added. The voice that defined college and amateur basketball in this generation made even the most boring or one-sided game lively with his jewel of a voice and antics why calling out plays. Manlapaz can make an exciting game even more colorful, adding a different flavor and flare that only the stadium legend can deliver. Manlapaz also endeared himself with players and coaches by calling out their full name instead of their nicknames. “Sayang mami-miss namin ang mga sigaw niya dito sa Arena especially when he calls me Teodorico not Boyet. We’re gonna miss them,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez. But Manlapaz’s greatest contribution in the game was his knack of baptizing players with lasting monikers. One of the cagers that got that honor was reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez.  Manlapaz gave Perez the moniker ‘Baby Beast’ when he was still playing for San Sebastian College’s high school team. Perez got the moniker for showing the same aggressiveness and tenacity of former Stag and now PBA star Calvin Abueva while wearing the same No. 7 jersey.  “Kay Sir Rolly nanggaling yung ‘Baby Beast’ na yun, noong FilOil pa lang ata yun,” Perez said. “It’s an honor na naging part siya ng mga league dito. Sobrang happy kami na nabibigyan kami ng moniker dahil sa kanya. Lumalabas ang pangalan namin dahil sa kanya.” San Beda’s Robert Bolick also shared his feelings on the passing of a friend. “Nagulat nga ako na ganyan ang nangyari akala ko naging OK na siya,” he said. “Nakaka-miss ‘yun kasi nakakagana maglaro ‘yun eh.” “Kaya ngayon ayoko na magganun-ganun (na layup). Dati kapag gumaganun ako siya kaagad yung, “Oh dipsy doo!” Ngayon medyo di na siya ganoon kasaya, nawawala ang saya,” he added. Manlapaz according to Bolick made any player perform better with his adrenaline-pumping calls. “Kahit sa UAAP ganoon ‘yan eh. ‘Pag tinawag nya ang pangalan mo parang feeling mo nasa NBA ka eh,” he said. “Maganda ang feeling kapag pumasok ka sa court. Nakakapagpaganda ng laro. Barker yun ang trabaho niya.” Bolick also remembered all the fun moments he had with Manlapaz. “Kahit noong La Salle pa ako kahit nasa bench lang ako tinatawag pa rin nya ako. Di ko nga alam eh (kung bakit ako tinatawag),” joked Bolick, drawing laughter from reporters. “Talagang may pinagsamahan din kaming dalawa. May koneksyon din kami.” “Nu’ng sa La Salle noong nag-championship kami sa UST, kapag nagwa-warmup kami ako pa rin tinatawag niya. Di ko nga alam, di naman ako naglalaro,” he continued. “Nahihiya tuloy akong mag-warmup.” “Nakaka-miss talaga yun and hopefully nasa magandang lugar na siya.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles          .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 27th, 2018

NCAA Season 94: Pirates extend win streak to 12

Lyceum of the Philippines University encountered a very game Emilio Aguinaldo College Thursday. The Pirates found the Generals a tough nut to crack as LPU had a hard time shaking off a very clingy EAC squad. But just like in their past conquests, the Pirates came up on top 95-75 to extend their winning streak 12 straight and remain unscathed in the NCAA Season 94 seniors basketball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. LPU, which struggled in the first half, made life miserable for EAC as they forced a season-high 38 turnovers that the Pirates converted into 38 points. The Pirates won their 30th straight elimination round game since their amazing elims sweep last year that gave them an outright ticket to the Finals only to lose via sweep in the championship series against San Beda University.     The Generals kept the game close up until the early part of the fourth quarter before LPU stepped on the gas, forcing turnovers off choking pressure defense and turning them into easy baskets to blow the game wide open. CJ Perez led the Pirates with 19 points and grabbed five rebounds while Mike Nzeusseu posted 18 markers. Jaycee Marcelino played despite coming off a flu and finished with 15 points while Ralph Tansingco and Jayvee Marcelino added 11 and 10 markers, respectively, for the Intramuros-based squad. Despite EAC taking a six-point lead early in the opening quarter and keeping the game close the whole first half, LPU head coach Topex Robinson knew that his wards will still survive the Generals' challenge. "I think it's not really something that we're surprised with because I know the first half the energy level of the other team is still there. So we know that we're going to make some mistakes and what's important for us is how we sustain it (energy) for 40 minutes," said Robinson. "I think that's very important on the way that we have to be disciplined and the way that we play defense especially on offense," he added. "So it came as no surprise to us that the game's close in the first half."        EAC dropped to 2-9 win-loss record and absorbed its fifth straight defeat. Jerome Garcia flirted with a double-double with 30 points on 12-of-19 field goal shooting and nine rebounds for the Generals. Jess Bautista had 19 markers and 13 boards while Hamadou Laminou finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds in a lost cause for EAC.    The scores: LPU (95) - Perez 19, Nzeusseu 18, Marcelino JC. 15, Tansingco 11, Marcelino JV. 10, Pretta 5, Ayaay 4, Valdez 4, Santos 4, Yong 3, Caduyac 2, Ibañez 0, Lumbao 0, Cinco 0, Serrano 0. EAC (75) - Garcia 30, Bautista 19, Hamadou Laminou 10, Maguliano 8, Gonzales 4, Cruz 2, Neri 2, Diego 0, Corilla 0, Natividad 0, Mendoza 0, Cadua 0. Quarterscores: 20-18, 41-40, 61-53, 95-75   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles            .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 13th, 2018

Nothing can stop Baste from charging back to contention

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 11-10 overall, fourth-seed after eliminations, lost in stepladder playoffs to San Beda YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Allyn Bulanadi, Michael Calisaan, RK Ilagan WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Alex Desoyo, Neil Villapando GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Alvin Baetiong, Ryan Costelo, Jayson David, Renzo Navarro WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM SAN SEBASTIAN? San Sebastian will look different in NCAA Season 94 with almost half of its roster set to make its debut in the Seniors. Out are Alvin Baetiong, Ryan Costelo, Jayson David, Alfren Gayosa, Jerwyn Guinto, Justin Mercado, and Renzo Navarro and in are former Baste High School standouts guard Alex Desoyo, forward Neil Villapando, and big man Jesse Sumoda. At the same time, the Golden Stags will look the same with Michael Calisaan, RK Ilagan, and Allyn Bulanadi still spearheading the charge. The only question is, will those three be enough to keep Baste in the top four of the standings – with the rest of their competition having stepped up. “Sa totoo lang, I just don’t focus sa tatlo. I want everybody to feel the pressure also, na i-accept nila yung challenge and motivation.” – head coach Egay Macaraya We got some sort of answer to that in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup where San Sebastian-backed Che’lu made it all the way to the Finals. Moreover, head coach Egay Macaraya, from CaféFrance to Centro Escolar University and from Baste to Che’lu, has proven that he gets the most out of his players. Now, it’s up to the former Staglets and their three-headed monster at the lead to prove that what happened in Recto was not a player exodus, but just new opportunities opening up for those who have stayed. “Number one is we accept it as a challenge. Hindi talaga magiging madali sa amin dahil masyadong maraming nawala, but the boys are motivated because of that.” – head coach Egay Macaraya WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM SAN SEBASTIAN? This is Michael Calisaan’s last go-round in the NCAA and, of course, he wants to go out with a bang. However, this year looks like will be the breakout season for Allyn Bulanadi, the fourth-year forward who emerged as a big-time scorer for San Sebastian in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup. In the end, more than the players, it would be fun to watch coach Egay work his “Macaraya magic” on a fresh batch of players. “Ang advantage namin right now is nakikita ko na yung rookies, they want to prove themselves. Nakikita ko rin na yung nangyari na nawala, everybody wants to take their place.” – head coach Egay Macaraya WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR SAN SEBASTIAN? San Sebastian has proven to be a tough out, whether or not it’s in contention, and even with almost half of its team brand new, that’s not changing. These Golden Stags do not have a star, but when all is clicking, the entire team could shine bright. WHERE WOULD SAN SEBASTIAN BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 94? Despite the major upheaval in its roster, San Sebastian is a contender and the Golden Stags will be fighting for a place in the playoffs. They are not a shoo-in there, but one of the two spots – because San Beda and LPU are locks – is also theirs to lose. WHEN IS SAN SEBASTIAN’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 94? San Sebastian battles emerging rival LPU on July 7 at the MOA Arena. You already know the story – Pirates mentor Topex Robinson is an alumnus and was a former head coach of the Golden Stags. As always, all of the #GalingNCAA will be on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, and livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 29th, 2018

LPU is still here to contend and, more importantly, to inspire

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 18-2 overall, top-seed after eliminations, runner-up YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: MJ Ayaay, Jaycee Marcelino, Jayvee Marcelino, Mike Nzeusseu, CJ Perez WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Germy Mahinay, Casper Pericas, Ranzhelle Yong GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Wilson Baltazar, Pipoy Marata WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM LPU? LPU, the first-ever team in the history of the country’s first and oldest league, to go 18-0 in the elimination round, did not lose a player of note as it tries again to capture its first-ever championship. Only veteran sniper Wilson Baltazar and heady guard Pipoy Marata have used up their eligibility and replacing them will be two among Team B standouts Casper Pericas and Ranzhelle Yong or former San Beda High big Germy Mahinay. That means that the core, the truly terrifying fivesome of Season MVP CJ Perez, Cameroonian powerhouse Mike Nzeusseu, team leader MJ Ayaay, and two-way twins Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino, is very well intact. Not only that, that truly terrifying fivesome is a year older, a year wiser and they have championship winning experience in both the Philippine Collegiate Champions League and the PBA D-League. Moreover, Pericas, a scoring guard who has been lighting up preseason leagues, and Yong, a do-it-all forward who had transferred from San Sebastian and Letran, wouldn’t be bad additions – so, as they say, the rich could only get richer. “There’s so much potential in this team. I think the lessons that we’ve learned just made us a better group. After that season, we won championships also and it’s just a testament to the fact that you have to stick to what works for you.” – head coach Topex Robinson WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM LPU? CJ Perez has been NCAA Season MVP and PBA D-League Conference MVP. While he is not one to say he wants another individual award, the mere fact that he could only improve will put him back in front of the pack in the MVP race. Alongside Perez, MJ Ayaay will also be showcased as head coach Topex Robinson has not shied away from saying that he and his staff would do all they could to help their graduating players get to the next level. “As much as possible, we want to build that tradition that we in LPU, we’re not just using you for our benefit. Our vision is to help you even after your college years. Again, it’s about giving back.” – head coach Topex Robinson But eyes, however, should be fixed on Jaycee Marcelino who, at times in the PBA D-League, looked like the team’s primary offensive threat. With that, he could very well ascend to the top of the list of the league’s best point guards. WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR LPU? LPU was THE feel-good story in all of college a season ago. “Our mindset is to make sure that we’re doing the right things. It’s not gonna be a guarantee na it’s gonna be a historic season for us and it’s not even a guarantee na we’re gonna be in the Finals, but what’s important for us is we continue what we started – building a program that will help these players in the future.” – head coach Topex Robinson The Pirates are now, no doubt, a powerhouse, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are yet to win the big one in their mother league. That makes them, at the end of the day, the underdog to defending champion and dynastic San Beda. “We don’t just want to follow Ateneo or La Salle which have successful basketball programs, but we want Ateneo and La Salle to also look at what we do.” – head coach Topex Robinson WHERE WOULD LPU BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 94? It will be a rematch of San Beda-LPU in the Finals. The top two teams from last season are both intact and they will meet again for all the marbles in the championship round of this season. WHEN IS LPU’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 94? LPU battles emerging rival San Sebastian on July 7 at the MOA Arena. You already know the story – Pirates mentor Topex Robinson is an alumnus and was a former head coach of the Golden Stags. As always, all of the #GalingNCAA will be on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, and livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 28th, 2018

CJ Perez -- Baby Beast, or The Blur 2.0?

With a monicker such as "Baby Beast", this versatile swingman from Lyceum of the Philippines University conjures images of a young Calvin Abueva, the triple-double machine that was the heart and soul of the daunted Baste-triumvirate several years back. Abueva was an unstoppable force on both ends of the floor, chasing after loose balls and rebounds and dominating the game despite his generously listed 6’3” frame. CJ Perez, who is just a shade under 6’3”, affects the game very similarly as Abueva on both ends of the floor, but at his age, is a more polished scorer, and plays at a more controlled pace, whether it is because of the system run by Coach Topex Robinson, or because of his experience playing internationally at a younger age. His journey to Lyceum was not without its twists and turns. After suiting up for San Sebastian for two seasons in the NCAA, Perez transferred to Ateneo where he was supposed to play for the Blue Eagles in Season 79 of the UAAP. However, academic issues forced him to rekindle his playing career back in the NCAA, where, after another year of residency, he was finally able to debut for the Pirates in Season 93 of the NCAA tourney. There he made up immensely for lost time, bagging the NCAA’s season MVP award, with averages of 19.3 points on 45 percent shooting from the field, 6.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.9 steals a contest while leading the Pirates to a stellar 18-0 sweep of the elimination round. Their 0-2 defeat in the Finals at the hands of defending champion San Beda did little to tarnish the achievements of Perez, who many now consider as the best collegiate player in the country today, and a sure top three pick in the next PBA draft. Let’s break down his attributes as a basketball player and see just how good Baby Beast (or some may even conjecture The Blur 2.0), really is. STRENGTH AND ATHLETICISM Pound for pound, CJ Perez is as good as it gets in college basketball, athletically and talent-wise. A natural scorer and slasher, he’s a tremendous leaper, and his ability to get rebounds (great positioning and leaping ability) is what allowed Lyceum to play him at the four spot in their pressing line-up. He has wiry strength and an explosive first step. This allows him to get past defenders without the need for any fancy dribbling. His solid upper body also allows him to muscle his way in traffic, create enough separation for a jumper, or more often than not, finish strong with either hand. "UMUPO SA ERE!" CJ Perez edition #NCAAStrong pic.twitter.com/Haf8oXmAqs — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) October 19, 2017   SLASHING AND SHOOTING While slashing is his primary scoring option, he’s also developed a respectable outside shot. Though he’s not a volume 3-pt shooter, he has throughout the season taken and made open threes, even of the step-back variety. And while his mechanics are not like those of a pure shooter (feet and shoulders are not perfectly square, has a habit of fading back on jumpers), his confidence and determination to make them have allowed him to shoot at a 45% clip from the field. Tough jumper for CJ Perez! #NCAASeason93 #NCAAStrong pic.twitter.com/9quJAhsazz — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) July 14, 2017 NO GO-TO MOVE? In terms of offensive moves, he has yet to show that he can regularly attack with his back to the basket, as he prefers starting from outside. We’ve not seen him regularly post up smaller defenders or use his athleticism to score on turnaround fadeaway jumpers. Another move he may have to master would be a mid-range floater, as he has not really had to play against much bigger opponents in the college ranks. This, together with a dangerous euro-step would definitely serve him well against bigger, more athletic competition. COURT VISION AND PASSING ABILITY Another positive is his willingness to make the extra pass. Because defenses are always keyed in on him, Perez has shown good court vision and an innate passing ability, many times hitting an open teammate, whether with a forward pass that leads to a fast break or an interior pass leading to an easy score under the basket. And while he is still prone to taking difficult and at times ill-advised shots because of his athleticism, his passing ability is something he can definitely capitalize on. ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT ON DEFENSE On the defensive end, CJ Perez knows how to make full use of his God-given talents. He is terrific at playing the passing lanes, in fact most of his steals are from reading the passing lanes and picking off cross court passes from their full court trap. Those are almost automatic transition baskets. His on-ball defense needs a little more improvement however, as one gets the sense that he relies more on his athleticism rather than solid defensive fundamentals, as seen when guys less athletic are still able to beat him off the dribble from time to time. Something that he’ll have to eliminate if he wants to excel in the next level. CJ Perez getting it done on both ends of the floor! #NCAASeason93 #NCAAStrong pic.twitter.com/RQVGAPnNtL — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 16, 2017 VERSATILITY In terms of intangibles, there is not much more to ask for. Perez has the motor of a Calvin Abueva, and his impact is felt on both ends of the floor. He can play all positions except center, bring the ball up like a point guard, slash like a wing, and rebound like a power forward. While his ballhandling still needs to be improved on (he’s shown to be vulnerable crossing over against smaller guards), there is little doubt that with his work ethic and attitude it’s only a matter of time before he tightens up those handles. Most importantly, he doesn’t showboat, but just goes about his business on the court -- a proven winner who still plays with a chip on his shoulder. #NCAASeason93 MVP CJ Perez's all-around brilliance was all the difference for the stunning Lyceum Pirates! pic.twitter.com/BH9uBYDwVl — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) December 19, 2017 An official from one PBA team thinks that if developed properly, CJ Perez could actually be the next Jayson Castro instead of a Calvin Abueva. That’s a scary thought; but what’s even scarier is that it’s actually not that farfetched to consider......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 28th, 2018

LPU has just won six games in the last eight days

For the first time ever, Lyceum of the Philippines University is into the Finals of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League. Dropping NCAA Final Four team San Sebastian College-Recoletos on Monday, a rematch in the tournament Finals up against San Beda University now awaits them. And even before their heavyweight bout against the Golden Stags, it’s not like the Pirates have gotten it easy. In fact, it was the complete opposite as they had to play four games in four days, and six games in eight days, just to get to where they are. In the PCCL, the Intramuros-based squad had to go through CESAFI champion University of Visayas last Friday, Southern Luzon kings Naga College Foundation last Saturday, and then Ateneo last Sunday just to get to the semifinals. There, they were then pitted against Baste. LPU passed all of them with flying colors. Extending that to the PBA D-League, where they have tied up with Zark’s Burgers, they defeated Wangs-Colegio de San Juan de Letran a week ago and then beat Mila’s Lechon last Thursday. Yes, from Monday to Monday, the Pirates played six games and won each and every one of them. For head coach Topex Robinson, that’s just a testament to all the preparations they have done. “If you’re gonna ask me if (our players) are physically tired, I don’t think they are. Again, that’s (because) of the work we put in,” he said. That work, according to Robinson, all leads back to conditioning coach Gilbert Malabanan. As he put it, “Coach Gilbert has done a great job in making sure we’re in tiptop shape. Ito na yung games na aani ka sa in-invest mon a conditioning.” He then continued, “I guess we’re also blessed to have good character players na they take care of their selves.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2018

BEST OF 5 PART 4: Credit to coach Boyet Fernandez, says San Beda

Read Part 1 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the San Beda Red Lions here. Read Part 2 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the San Beda Red Lions here. Read Part 3 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the San Beda Red Lions here. --- San Beda College has not only had top-tier players through its dynastic 12-year run, it has also had top-level coaches. Of the 10 championships in 12 years they have won, Frankie Lim called the shots for four, Boyet Fernandez led the way for three, and all of Koy Banal, Jamike Jarin, and Ronnie Magsanoc had one apiece. Next year, Fernandez has a chance to match Lim’s total. While that is not yet sure to happen, there is one thing that Fernandez is sure to do: just as he has always had, he will deflect all the praise away from himself. FOR AND AGAINST From then to now and onto the future, reporters are certain to hear the very same first four words in each and every one of Fernandez’s post-game conferences: “Credit to the boys.” From the times of Ola Adeogun and Baser Amer before to Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon now, the Red Lions’ mentor never fails to make it known that all the wins are because of his boys. He will also make it a point to laud the effort of their opponents and his counterpart coach. In fact, just in the most recent season, he had nothing but good words for Lyceum of the Philippines University’s Topex Robinson, San Sebastian College-Recoletos’ Egay Macaraya, and archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s Jeff Napa – coaches of teams which have trained their targets on toppling the Mendiola dynasty. BECAUSE OF YOU After steering San Beda to perhaps its most dramatic title since its drought-ending one in 2006, however, the players themselves are saying it’s high time to give Fernandez his due. “Coach Boyet really deserves this championship. I want to thank coach Boyet dahil siya ang nagtulak sa aking mag-grow sa basketball,” Robert Bolick said. “Ginawa niya akong MVP. Kaya na ako ganito dahil sa kanya.” Bolick had a solid first season in red and white under Jarin in 2016, but truly blossomed under the watch of Fernandez in 2017. From a defensive stopper, the heady guard transformed himself into a complete player and had himself recognized as PBA D-League MVP as well as one of the top talents in the NCAA. BELIEVE WHAT I SAY Not only that, Bolick has also proven himself to be one of the most clutch players in all of college. The 21-year-old dropped seven points in the last two minutes in Game 1 of the Finals and then scored seven points in the last five minutes in Game 2. And perhaps there was no shot that defined all they had to overcome than this cold-blooded triple from “Big Shot Bolick.”   Robert Bolick breaks out LeBron celebration after the dagger against LPU. #NCAASeason93 #NCAAStrong pic.twitter.com/33kzBDvuUC — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) Nobyembre 16, 2017   As it turns out, those shots may not have gone in if not for Fernandez. “Since the start of the season kasi, coach Boyet wants us to shoot before and after training. He always tells me na I can shoot from the outside kaya ayan, nakita na nga natin,” Bolick said. WE GOT THIS For that full faith, the Red Lions promised to win the championship for their mentor – even though just about everybody was seeing a historic season from the then league-leading Pirates. “Noong natalo kami (ng LPU) two times, nag-team building kami and I told coach na he’s going to have to trust us. For me, for all of us, the only thing na makakabawi kami for coach for everything he’s done, is with the championship,” Bolick shared. He then continued, “I always told him, ‘I got you.’ Para sa kanya talaga ‘to.” True to form, however, right after they finally won that dramatic title, Fernandez made it a point to mention his predecessor for setting the table for him. “Coach Jamike is a very good coach and he won a championship for San Beda. Kaya nga sabi ko dati pa, I will defend the crown for him,” he said. FOR LIFE Next year, it will be the crown he won himself that he will be defending. By then, there is no doubt whatsoever that Fernandez will be giving credit where credit is due – just not for himself. And for him, there is no place he’d rather be doing that in than Mendiola – for now until the foreseeable future. “Sana I’ll continue to coach San Beda. Of course, it will be up to the bosses and I will respect whatever their decision will be,” he said. He then continued, “But if I will be asked to stay with San Beda, pwede bang lifetime na?” Boyet Fernandez, lifetime head coach of San Beda? Sounds good to us. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

Tougher, more aggressive LPU to be seen starting in PBA D-League

Lyceum of the Philippines University stayed true to its word following a disappointing end to the season. Sweeping the eliminations only to get swept in the Finals, the Pirates said they will be going to work immediately after their loss. “I’m really excited because Season 94 will start tomorrow for us,” head coach Topex Robinson said then. “We have a good group of young men who are just so hungry to really improve. I told them to just lick your wounds and tomorrow will be a new day for us.” Reports have stated that Season MVP CJ Perez, team captain MJ Ayaay, and the rest of the Intramuros-based crew went back to the gym not long after they were defeated by San Beda College. Now, however, they will be bringing all that work to the PBA D-League. LPU has tied up with formerly one-win Zark’s Burgers for a partnership that is nothing but determined to win. There, up against many collegiate rivals as well as veterans, the Pirates have one promise. “We have to be tough, we have to be more aggressive. There is no room for kindness from the first game to the last game,” big man Mike Nzeusseu shared. He then continued, “We need to play with a champion’s mentality in all our games. There is no room for excuses anymore.” Mentor Robinson, while steering away from strong statements, just promised continued improvement. “What I love and brag about my players is that they success didn’t really come to their heads. That’s why I’m really excited,” he said. He then continued, “The experience that we gained in the NCAA and will gain in the D-League is just gonna make us better – a better team and more importantly, better individuals.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2017

Time for the Fuel Masters to rise from the ashes

After two years in the PBA, Phoenix is yet to move past the quarterfinals. More than that, the Fuel Masters are also yet to have a final record that breaks the .500 mark. Enter new head coach Louie Alas and assistant coach Topex Robinson who hope to bring along their success to the now third-year franchise. “We are determined to win. That’s why we enlisted two new coaches in long-time deputy Louie Alas and NCAA achiever Topex Robinson,” alternate team governor Raymond Zorilla said. Before moving to Phoenix, Alas and Robinson were part of the staff for Alex Compton in Alaska which had gone to four straight Finals. The two have also had success in the collegiate ranks with Alas having led Colegio de San Juan de Letran to several championships and Robinson having led Lyceum of the Philippines University to legitimate contention. The new head coach and his first lieutenant will still have Jeff Chan, JC Intal, and Matthew Wright showing the way. For them to find better success, however, team management also drafted Jason Perkins and traded for LA Revilla. “We drafted Perkins and made some trades for players who would give us good, quality minutes,” Zorilla said. That is exactly why the Fuel Masters are nothing but upbeat that they can better their subpar standings from a year ago – 6-5 in the Philippine Cup, 4-7 in the Commissioner’s Cup, and 2-9 in the Governor’s Cup. “We’re not just sitting idle, we’re not just sitting to lose. We’re aiming to win,” Zorilla expressed. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 13th, 2017

For both Zark’s and LPU, it’s time to win in PBA D-League

Lyceum of the Philippines University swept the elimination round of the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament only to be swept in the Finals. And so, they remain in search for a crown. Enter the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup and the Pirates search continues. “Yung hindi namin na-complete nung (NCAA) Season 93, hopefully, ito yung continuation,” head coach Topex Robinson told reporters. He then continued, “We’re excited for this new partnership. Thank you Zark’s for giving us the opportunity.” The Intramuros-based squad will join forces will fellow upstart Zark’s Burger which enters its sophomore season with a new hope. “Hopefully, with this partnership ay mag-improve kami. We’ve learned a lot sa nangyari sa amin before,” team owner Rolandrei Viktor “Commie” Varona said. In its maiden campaign earlier in the year, Varona’s team, then known as the Jawbreakers, only had one win to show in 10 games. In the end, they found themselves dead last. It was only a matter of time before they found a partner who also wanted nothing more but to get better. “Mas maganda na yung samahan ngayon kasi aligned yung vision namin pareho. Same na same yung vision – it’s time to win,” Varona said. He then continued, “They started (sa) NCAA na nasa ilalim sila then umangat kaya naman I believe na parehas kami ng goal na it’s time to win. Ayaw na namin na hanggang dito na lang.” If the Jawbreakers of old were lacking in talent, only Robbie Celiz stood out in the squad, they will now welcome the roster which took last season’s NCAA by storm. That includes Season MVP CJ Perez, skipper MJ Ayaay, Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee, and Raymar Caduyac, among others. Robinson has no doubt that his crew will only come out with much more fire as they take the floor for the first time since getting blanked by eventual champion San Beda College. “We’ll try to get better dito sa D-League. It’s a good opportunity for us as a team and as a school and also for Zark’s Burgers,” he shared. He then continued, “The more opportunity for us to hone our skills, the better for everybody.” Zark’s-LPU will see action in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup tipping off on January 18 of next year. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 7th, 2017

LPU Pirates’ voyage continues in PBA D-League

Lyceum of the Philippines University swept the elimination round and then got swept in the championship round of the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Right after losing the Finals, and the title, to San Beda College, however, the Pirates were already thinking of what’s ahead for them. “I just told them that our vision won’t stop just because of losing in this Finals. We just made a bigger platform for us now to really push through with our vision,” head coach Topex Robinson said. He then continued, “I’m excited for what lies ahead of us after this experience. At the end of the day, we will be defined with how we faced this loss.” Apparently, the Intramuros-based crew will face their loss by getting right back to work in the 2018 PBA D-League. “We’re gonna join the (PBA) D-League. I know it’s gonna prepare us for Season 94 kasi mga kuya naman namin mga kalaban namin,” he said. He the continued, “We’re gonna prepare for what’s gonna be ahead for us in the (PBA) D-League.” And so, for the first time in its history, LPU will be competing in the amateur league, joining forces with the Zark’s Burgers. There, they will duke it out with San Beda College-backed defending champion Cignal as well as league stalwarts Centro Escolar University and Tanduay. Four other NCAA teams will also see action there with Jose Rizal University returning and College of St. Benilde and University of Perpetual Help entering the fray. Also, Batangas will now be associated with Emilio Aguinaldo College. The 2018 PBA D-League will tip-off in January with its Draft scheduled for December of this year. When that time rolls along, Robinson vowed that he and his Pirates will have moved on from their bitter loss. “I’m a believer that everything happens cause it’s meant to happen. I don’t wanna dwell on what happened before,” he said. He then continued, “I draw strength from them knowing that they really gave their best. Our best wasn’t a guarantee that we were gonna win a championship, but at the end of the day, we did it the right way.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2017

Finals loss to San Beda will only toughen Lyceum, says Topex Robinson

MANILA, Philippines – It’s just the tip of the iceberg for the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates. That is what coach Topex Robinson wants his wards to believe after the Pirates were swept by the San Beda College Red Lions in the best-of-3 NCAA Season 93 finals Thursday, November ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 17th, 2017