LYCEUM of the Philippines University is leaning on third-year players Paul Soliman and Mer Ayaay to lead the Pirates as they dropped veteran guard Dexter Zamora from the roster for Season 92 of the NCAA opening on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.
"We've decided to go to our younger players and give them a chance," said Robinson after naming Soliman and Ayaay as co-captains. He did not elaborate on the exit of Zamora, who played in the pre-season tournament a few weeks ago but removed from the original lineup citing only "disciplinary action."
The Pirates will also miss big man Joseph Gabayni for more than a month after he figured in a motorcycle accident.
"He (Gabayni) will be out until August and we will have to rely more on the other players," said Robinson. "We're just thankful his injury is not serious."
With the lineup changes, Robinson isn’t expecting a lot from the team but is hoping for an improvement from the 4-14 win-loss record that put them in ninth spot in the 10-team league.
"We will not shoot for the stars, we'll just try to better our performance and win as many games as we can," he said.
Ayaay, sharpshooter Wilson Baltazar and Cameroonian rookie big man Mike Harry Nzeusseu were named into the starting unit while leaving the point guard and power forward spots open after losing Zamora and Gabyani.
Expected to get heavy minutes at the point are Shaq Alanes, Edcor Marata, Allyn Malabanan and neophyte Johann Rubite while Jebb Bulawan and Soliman are expected to take turns at the 4-spot.