THEIR first meeting last July 23 resulted in a one-game suspension on San Sebastian College coach Egay Macaraya after he was caught on television ordering his player, Ammar Cosari, to slap the hand of Lyceum’s 6-foot-5 Cameroonian import Mike Harry Nzeusseu, who was playing through an injured index finger that time.
That’s part of the past, according to coach Topex Robinson, and their focus now is to boost their bid for No. 2 slot that is rewarded with a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.
“Every time we play San Sebastian, it’s always an exciting moment for me and for the rest of the alumni who are part of Lyceum now. We know they’re also positioning themselves in the Final Four so we know how important this game will also be for them,” said Robinson.
“Sa akin, uulitin ko, it’s an opportunity for us to get better. San Sebastian is also a well-oiled machine so it’s a preparation for the homestretch of this season. It’s an exciting opportunity playing San Sebastian,” he added.
The Pirates eye their seventh straight win when they square off with the Golden Stags today in the 95th NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
The match is set at 2 o’clock after skidding College of St. Benilde battles also-ran Emilio Aguinaldo College in the curtain-raiser at noon.
Perpetual Help also tries to stay alive when it clashes with another eliminated squad in Jose Rizal University at 4 p.m.
Lyceum downed San Sebastian 80-69 in their initial duel.
Apart from Nzeusseu, twins Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino, Raymar Caduyac, and former Stags Jayson David and Renzo Navarro are expected to show the way for Lyceum in its bid to hike its 12-3 card.
Macaraya is hoping his wards will be in full strength against the formidable Pirates.
“It will be very hard and sana healthy lahat ng players kasi we will need everybody to stop Lyceum with the way they are playing right now, their winning streak, their import, and also Marcelino brothers,” said Macaraya.
“Hopefully, everybody will be healthy and we could prepare a defensive scheme kasi lahat sila magagaling.”