HEEDING the words of coach Topex Robinson, the cat-quick Marcelino twins Jayvee and Jaycee have stepped up to the plate as they guided the Pirates to an opening-day win in NCAA Season 95.
It was a statement win for the Pirates, who look to return to the finals without CJ Perez and MJ Ayaay.
"Big challenge for me dahil sinabi sa amin ni coach na hindi lang team ni CJ at Ay yung LPU," said Jayvee. "Parang na-challenge kami sa sinasabi na porket wala na si CJ at Ay, parang di na namin kaya manalo. Pinrove lang namin na as a team kami naglalaro ngayon."
The Marcelinos showed that heart in the payoff period as they anchored Lyceum fightback from a six-point deficit midway through the canto and staged the 13-4 finisher to stun Letran.
Jaycee dropped 24 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals, while brother Jayvee uncorked eight of his 18 points in the payoff period, together with six boards and two dimes.
"Sabi namin sa sarili namin, wag tayo susuko kasi mahaba pa eh," said Jaycee as the Pirates weathered the storm despite missing Cameroonian big man Mike Nzeusseu.
"Malalaki sila eh. Kanina nga sa parade, nakita namin na kami lang maliit kasi wala si Mike eh. Pero sabi namin kailangan talaga naming mag-step up lahat. Nag-double effort talaga kami lahat para makuha yung panalo."
Lyceum's opening day win also meant a lot for the Marcelinos, especially with Perez and Ayaay in attendance to see them flourish in this new voyage.
"Inspired kami kasi nandito sila eh," said Jaycee.
Jayvee added: "Syempre, suportado pa rin sa amin yung dalawa. Kahit wala na sila sa team, yung full support nila, nandoon pa rin talaga."