JOHN Apacible has been given a second chance by Lyceum following a controversial end to his collegiate career at Ateneo.
LPU coach Topex Robinson confirmed Apacible is now part of the Pirates pool and is in fact already taking up residency to be eligible for the NCAA basketball tournament next year.
Apacible, a former high school standout at Hope Christian High School, was embroiled in a controversy in 2015 where he was caught on video going on a drunken rage outside a bar in Quezon City.
Robinson said he is a firm believer of giving players a second chance.
“It’s been working for me. Isa si John sa project ko. Obviously, hindi guarantee parati pero mas malaki ‘yung chances na mag-work,” said Robinson on Friday.
Robinson said he spoke to Apacible before inviting him to join his team at LPU.
“Naging usapan namin, kung ano man nangyari sa kanya before, it’s a thing of the past. What’s important now is the opportunity kasi two years pa siya makakalaro. Right now, under residency siya. ‘Yung potential niya nandoon, it’s a matter of mabigyan ng chance,” said Robinson.
Robinson said he got clearance from Ateneo management before Apacible enrolled at LPU.
“Sabi nga nila, mabibigyan siya ng chance sa amin. Excited din ako sa kanya,” said Robinson, who rode another transferee from Ateneo, CJ Perez, in the Pirates' run to the NCAA Finals last season.
According to Robinson, Apacible has started playing for the Pirates in offseason tournaments and has been playing well for LPU’s Team B.
“Maganda ‘yung linalaro niya. Siyempre, timing kasi matagal siyang hindi nakalaro ng organized basketball kasi nag-aaral siya that time. Ateneo won’t get him if he is not good,” said Robinson.
“We saw the potential in him and willing naman mag-sakripisyo ‘yung bata sa practices namin. So far, nakakayanan naman niya. We are excited for him,” said Robinson.
If all goes well, Robinson envisions Apacible to fill the void in the middle for LPU in the future.
“Sakto pag labas ni Mike (Nzeusseu), meron na kaming kahit papaano solid na big,” said Robinson, who led the Pirates to a runner-up finish behind San Beda last season.