After a forgettable debut in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) D-League Foundation Cup, Zark’s Burger is returning as a partner of the tenacious Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU).
Jawbreakers team owner Rolandrei Viktor Varona said his company and the Pirates shared the same philosophy that’s why they are joining forces for the upcoming D-League Aspirants Cup set to kick off on January 18 next year.
“Last conference, we wanted to give others a chance but unfortunately we’re not that lucky. Now, we want to associate our brand to winning. Our goal now is to win,” said Varona during the news conference on Thursday at a Zark’s Burger branch in Vito Cruz, Manila.
Zark’s Burger finished with 1-9 win-loss record in the Foundation Cup that included a 76-point loss to Tanduay (65-141).
The Pirates, in sharp contrast, had a perfect 18-0 elimination round in the just concluded National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 before losing to San Beda College twice in the finals.
With defending champion Cignal taking a leave from the league, LPU head coach Topex Robinson said the battle to the title is a wide-open race although he wished the San Beda-backed Hawkeyes will have a change of heart and participate in the tournament.
“We really like Cignal to be there so that we’ll have an opportunity to test them. But the competition is still the same. The other NCAA schools are also there. It will be interesting if Cignal is there because they are the barometer of the league,” said Robinson.
“It is not for redemption but for the improvement of our team,” he added.
Robinson said the goal is to reach the finals and that has been his philosophy ever since.
“We always set our standards high, make sure we always compete and the players know that,” said Robinson.
NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez will banner the Zark’s-LPU squad along with Jesper Ayaay, Mike Nzeusseu, Jeffrey Santos, Ralph Tansingco, Season 93 NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez, Aldrich Liwag, Reymar Caduyac, Nino Ibanez, Jeric Serrano, Edcor Marata, twins Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino, Kim Cinco, Spencer Pretta, Wilson Baltazar and Rhanzelle Yong.
Alwin Alday is the only non-Lyceum player in the line-up of the Jawbreakers.
“This is the best opportunity for us to be improve because this is already semi-pro,” said Perez.
JOSEF T. RAMOS