Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Can Lyceum pull a Leicester City this NCAA Season 93?

Can Lyceum pull a Leicester this NCAA Season 93?
by rick olivares

The Lyceum Pirates’ CH Perez threw up a three-pointer that bricked. College of Saint Benilde’s Matt Johnson plucked down the rebound and pitched it forward igniting a Blazers fastbreak.

Johnson drifted to the right while teammate Clement Leutcheu cut right through the middle. LPU’s Jayvee Marcelino closed down Johnson.

The Blazers guard knew that his LPU counterpart would try to stop him from driving in so he rifled a pass to Leutcheu. It should have been an easy two; maybe even a dunk. However, Marcelino knew that he’d get some help. Perez scooted in and stole the ball before Leutcheu could get his hands on it.

Because of his speed, Perez was going out of bounds. In one motion as he stole the ball, he passed it to Marcelino who took one dribble, looked up court then pitched it forward to twin brother Jaycee for an easy two; 35-21 for LPU.

The play encapsulates the lightning quick game of the Lyceum Pirates who at this time of writing are undefeated in NCAA Season 93 at 11-0 after they ransacked CSB, 83-69.

The Pirates have made noises in the past two seasons since the time Topex Robinson came on board as head coach. They’ve seen their African (Victor Nguidjol and Mike Nzeusseu) and local players generate a lot of excitement. But when Perez, who moved from Ateneo to LPU a year ago, and the Marcelino brothers suited up, the Pirates have shifted to a higher gear.

In the pre-season, they made a lot of noise. They lost to San Beda which was unfazed by all the hype about the Pirates as they crushed them, 96-79. The question of LPU’s NCAA title aspirations was – how much did they learn and what could they correct from that loss?

Apparently, they did as they went on to hand San Beda its only loss (95-91) of this NCAA Season. With Letran stirring to life, San Sebastian fulfilling the promise of a solid pre-season, and San Beda… well, still San Beda… could Lyceum be the NCAA version of the English Premier League’s Leicester City – a team coming out of nowhere to steal the crown? Leicester is a football club that after years of moving up and down the top tiers of English football snatched the coveted title two seasons ago.

There is a long way to go, of course, but right now, let’s enjoy the damage that the Pirates have been inflicting on the league.

Robinson’s boys are the top-ranked offensive team averaging 90.1 points per game. That is a huge jump from last year’s 70.6! And San Beda’s ratchada squad of last season managed 87.0 points per game.

Furthermore, the Pirates lead in several major offensive statistical categories – field goal shooting (43%), points in the paint (43.6), rebounds (48.1), assists (17.5), fastbreak points (15.3), second chance points (11.7), and bench points (45.1).

Individually, Perez is leading the statistical race over nearest competitors Kent Michael Salado of Arellano University and Rey Nambatac of Letran.

Although Robinson has gone to a 10-man rotation (with the others seeing occasional playing time) he has a deep and talented team. He has three regular double digit scorers in Perez, Nzeusseu, and Jaycee Marcelino.

Defensively… here’s the chink in their armor – LPU is in the middle of the pack in almost every category. That leads us to infer that they have yet to run into a really defensive-oriented squad. You can make a case for San Beda in that category as they are the top-ranked defensive team. More than that, the Red Lions have the experience, the depth and talent to defend their crown and battle the Pirates man-for-man.

While Robinson would protest that it is too early to talk about championships, if they can keep this streak going and win it all, they could be the first expansion team since the NCAA went to 11 schools years ago (they are now down to 10 after Angeles University Foundation bowed out) to achieve the feat. 

And this is good for the league unless you’re from Mendiola where no doubt, you’re the only one enjoying this bit of dominance.

October 19 cannot come soon enough when Lyceum and San Beda collide for their second round match.

No comments:

Post a Comment