THE Lyceum Pirates continue to impress in NCAA Season 93, and even their own head coach is left surprised at what his wards can do.
When Arellano’s Kent Salado drained a three pointer with 4:18 left in the game and the Chiefs went up, 87-74, Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson admitted that he already had a speech ready for their impending first loss of the season.
Little did he know that a few minutes later, they’d be celebrating their 12th win in as many games in the tournament.
Showing great grit and heart, the Pirates finished the game with a 20-5 run to take a 94-92 win in a pulsating affair which saw them complete their comeback despite CJ Perez fouling out in the final two minutes.
“Actually nakaprepare na nga ako ng speech because I was already expecting na we were gonna lose this afternoon,” Robinson admitted.
“I told the guys whatever the experience we got here that means di tayo invincible team,” he added.
Most unbeaten teams at that point of the season would have easily caved in and lived to fight another day.
But not these Pirates, who are starting to show that they’re not just good when they’re blowing out teams – they can also grind out comeback wins as shown not only in this game but also in the end of the first round when they stormed back from a 17-point deficit to beat Letran, 75-68.
“I told them na wag na natin intayin na matalo tayo bago tayo magising,” Robinson said.
“There would come a time na ganito talaga yung situation but I just reminded them, ‘for you to be courageous you just have to know that there’s someone in your back always ready to support you.’ They have to be courageous cause that’s all I can do substitute players and call timeouts eh,” he added.
While it’s nice to flex at times and score easy blowout victories, Robinson understands that if they want to get to their long term goal – which is to ultimately win the crown – experiencing adversity is a must.
“Hopefully it’s a challenge or a wake-up call for us that we have to keep on playing until the final buzzer sounds. Again we always want to inspire others,” Robinson continued.
“It’s gonna be hard along the way but hopefully this game would turn us really into a great team.”