CJ Perez and MJ Ayaay were at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Sunday afternoon.
However, the duo was no longer donning Lyceum’s red and gray as the two were part of the audience watching the new batch of Pirates.
And they were given a treat.
“Siyempre, suportado pa rin sa amin yung dalawa. Kahit wala na sila sa team, yung full support nila, nandun pa rin talaga,” said Jayvee Marcelino.
“Inspired kami kasi nandun sila e,” added Jaycee Marcelino.
Right after the NCAA Season 94 Finals had ended, the pressure was on for the twins to continue the winning legacy left by Perez and Ayaay.
“Big challenge for me, sinabi sa amin ni coach na hindi team ni CJ at Ay yung LPU. Parang na-challenge kami sa sinasabi na porket wala na si CJ at Ay, parang di na namin kaya manalo,” admitted Jayvee.
And in their first game of the NCAA Season 95 tournament, they were given a tough task as they needed to scale the Letran mountain.
Down by five with just three minutes left, the Marcelinos took over, either scoring or assisting on the last 13 points of the Pirates.
A 6-0 surge by the twins gave Lyceum a 77-76 lead. Even with Letran trying to stop the run, the surge continued as the pint-sized Lyceum team took down Letran, 84-80.
“Masaya kami. Di namin in-expect kasi ang liliit talaga namin. Nagdoble effort talaga kami lahat para makuha yung panalo,” said Jaycee, who had 24 points, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
“Ni-prove lang naming as a team kaming naglalaro ngayon,” added Jayvee, who tallied 18 points, six rebounds, and two assists.
If Perez and Ayaay epitomized Lyceum’s grit the past two years, the Marcelinos’ speed is now the engine that will make the Pirates run. And it’s going to be their bread and butter if they want another run at the Finals.
“We might be the smallest, but what we have is the quickest team in the league right now,” said head coach Topex Robinson.
“We’re focusing on all our energy to being the smallest and the quickets team in the league, hoping that teams won’t catch up our quickness.”
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