LYCEUM joined the PBA D-League as Zark’s Burger to gain exposure as they look to become a better team in the NCAA.
What better way to start off their campaign than to face off against a ballclub like Marinerong Pilipino, a team with a mix of collegiate and veteran players.
“Ang goal namin why we joined the D-League is to gain experience,” said Zark’s coach Topex Robinson. “It’s a good opportunity for us to learn from a good team, and a well-coached team.”
The Jawbreakers open hostilities of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup against Marinerong Pilipino on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Robinson said the team will be tested as the Skippers roster is loaded with former and present collegiate stars like University of the East's Alvin Pasaol, Ateneo's Vince Tolentino, La Salle's Abu Tratter, and veteran PBA cagers looking for another chance at the pro league like Gab Banal.
“Coach Koy has been handling the team pretty well. We are really excited. I’m sure they’ve idolized those players before. Maganda masubukan namin ‘yung laro namin against a veteran team like Marinero,” said Robinson.
Known for playing with a faster pace in the NCAA, Robinson said the Zark’s Jawbreakers will play the same brand of play in the D-League despite a tougher competition that includes older players from other teams.
“Ang biro ko nga sa kanila, the only time na matatamaan ka is kung maghahabol ka. Our strength is our speed, let them do the catching. We will not adjust to what [pace] the D-League is played. We will let teams adjust to what we play kasi ‘yun ang kontrolado namin,” said Robinson.
The Jawbreakers of team owner Commie Varona and team manager Bernard Yang will have the core of the Pirates that suited up in the recent NCAA Season 93 led by MVP CJ Perez, Mike Nzeusseu, and the Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee.
Zark’s recently played a tune-up game against Our Lady of Fatima University where they won easily, and Robinson liked what he saw from his players.
“I really enjoyed seeing them play. Once they are in their element, ang ginagawa ko na lang is to substitute players and call timeout which is always a good sign because our goal is for them to coach themselves,” said Robinson.
“But there are still room to grow. Iba ang level ng D-League. There is a lot of physicality. There has to be something that we have to prepare for,” said Robinson.