MANILA, Philippines – San Beda aims to extend its reign in NCAA men’s basketball as it shoots for a sweep of Lyceum in Game 2 of the best-of-three title showdown on Monday, November 12, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
But the Red Lions have to do it against a Pirates side that’s set to see the return of star player CJ Perez.
“They’re a different LPU team without CJ but we really prepared against CJ and we’ll see what happens,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.
The Lions took advantage of the absence of Perez and hammered out a 73-60 victory in the series opener last Tuesday to move within a win of snaring a third straight crown and lay claim as the league’s most dominant team with 22 overall titles.
Perez – who has normed league-highs of 18.7 points and 3.3 steals on top of 8.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists – was controversially penalized in Game 1 and stripped of individual honors for his failure to inform the league of his PBA draft application.
But even without the prolific Perez, the Pirates actually showed some fight late in Game 1 when they fought back from a 27-point deficit in the 3rd quarter.
The Pirates eventually ran out of steam and managed to come as close as 10 points before eventually losing by 13.
So it’s no surprise that the Pirates expect to level the title series with Perez back in the fold.
“We’re excited to have him back,” said Lyceum coach Topex Robinson.
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