Lyceum of the Philippines University braces for a tough match against a determined University of Perpetual Help System DALTA in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 basketball tournament on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City.
The leading Pirates are set to have their hands full against the Altas, who are out to start their final playoff push in the 2 p.m. collision.
Coming off a hard-earned 94-92 win over Arellano University, Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson sees a tighter competition this time compared to the first round, which they swept in nine games.
“The second round is a totally different ball game,” said Robinson, whose men crawled out of a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter of their game against the Chiefs.
Fortunately for the Pirates, skipper Jesper Ayaay took charge with the absence of main man CJ Perez in the endgame as the versatile forward made crucial baskets to keep the Intramuros-based team unbeaten in 12 games.
Robinson expects the same level of tenacity, which he saw in Arellano, against a resolute Perpetual squad.
“We know that they’re really going to give us a good fight,” he said.
The Altas look to atone for their disappointing 55-83 defeat to College of St. Benilde, which dealt a huge blow to their Final Four hopes as they were left stuck on No. 7 with a 4-7 win-loss record.
More importantly, the wards of Jimwell Gican will go for the win that will push them back to playoff contention.
Meanwhile, San Sebastian College-Recoletos also seeks to stay on the hunt for a semifinals spot when it tangles with St. Benilde at 4 p.m.
The Golden Stags aim to bounce back from a 65-76 loss to defending champion San Beda College as they try to improve their 5-6 card for a share of fourth with Emilio Aguinaldo College and Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
But the Blazers are riding the momentum of their blowout victory over the Altas last Friday as they eye to hike their 3-9 slate.