EYE-OPENER. The undefeated LPU Pirates closely competed with last year’s ABL semifinalist Alab Pilipinas.
Lyceum of the Philippines University played their first game since October 19 last Sunday.
Then, they faced off against Alab Pilipinas, a semifinalist in last year’s Asean Basketball League.
According to head coach Topex Robinson, his Pirates closely competed with the Ray Parks-bannered and Jimmy Alapag-mentored Alab.
And for Alapag himself, the NCAA’s league-leaders were no doubt impressive. As he put it, “The scrimmage was good. Obviously, Lyceum has a great young team as shown by their unblemished record this season.”
With one game played against LPU, the first-time shot-caller saw with his own eyes the run-and-gun game that has taken the collegiate scene by storm. “No doubt, they’re the favorites to win the championship,” he expressed.
The Philippines’ representatives in the ABL themselves were left impressed at how the Pirates never wavered from their system. “Everybody has bought into the system. That’s a great team in college,” reigning and defending Local MVP Ray Parks Jr. said.
That was also exactly what Alapag saw. “I think coach Topex has done a great job with that team in terms of how hard they play. It’s very evident even from the first quarter, you see how strong their chemistry is,” he shared.
He then continued, “They share the ball, they have a lot of players who can shoot the ball, and their (foreign student-athlete) is a problem for opposing teams. They have a great group.”
That great group takes the floor again in the NCAA in Game 1 of the Finals on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Meanwhile, Alab’s sophomore season commences in Southeast Asia’s first and only professional league on November 19 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
All of the action in both leagues will be on S+A, S+A HD and sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.
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