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    After wake-up call, Guadana eager to lead Lyceum live up to expectations

    Aug 8, 2019
    PHOTO: marlo cueto

    MAC Guadana admitted that the heightened expectations entering the season coupled with his side's early success in NCAA Season 95 juniors basketball tournament led to problems for Lyceum midway through the first round.

    "Medyo naging problem sa amin yung mga yun, lalo na at ang laki ng panalo namin sa Mapua," he said, alluding to the Junior Pirates' dominant 101-66 victory over Mapua last July 19.

    That uplifting victory, no less against the defending champions Red Robins, certainly got to the team's head, if Guadana will be asked.

    "Siguro medyo nag-relax kami, tumaas masyado yung kumpyansa namin," he said.

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    Lyceum paid dearly for its complacency, going on a two-game funk as it absorbed humiliating losses to San Sebastian, 82-74, and Jose Rizal University, 77-74.

    But a deep reassessment of its standing allowed the Junior Pirates to get themselves back on the right track, routing the Perpetual Junior Altas, 93-81, in the latter's home floor on Thursday.

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    "Sobrang laking bounce back para sa amin nito. Hinuddle ko na lang ang teammates ko at sabi ko sa kanila na nahihirapan na tayo, so dapat may makuha tayo rito. Nandito tayo sa sitwasyon na dapat may natututunan tayo at dapat may nae-earn tayo," said Guadana, who fired a career-best 33 points, to go with six rebounds and five assists in the road win.

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    The conquest helped Lyceum rise to a 4-2 standing as it grabbed a share of the third place with CSB-La Salle Greenhills, and more importantly, fixed those woes.

    "Totally ayos na talaga kami," said the former Gilas Youth star.

    "Tinignan namin yung standings at nasa panglima na naman kami, pero nakapag-usap na naman kami ng team na ayaw na namin mabitin. Sabi ko talaga sa kanila, wag na tayo pumunta sa sitwasyon na pwede kaming malaglag."

    And that just bodes well for Guadana as he aims to lead the Junior Pirates to the Final Four for the first time since the school joined the league in 2011.

    "Sobrang importante ng season na ito," said the graduating court general. "Sa five years ko sa Lyceum, di kami nakapasok ng Final Four so para sa akin mismo, sobrang importante nito. Hindi ako papayag na ga-graduate akong walang nararating ang LPU."

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    PHOTO: marlo cueto
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