MANILA, Philippines – Though they have yet to lose a single game in the NCAA Season 93 men's basketball tournament, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates have plenty of flaws that they need to work on.
This, according to their own coach, Topex Robinson.
Lyceum improved to a league-best 14-0 after defeating Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC), 86-74, last Tuesday. They are already assured of a twice-to-beat edge in the Final 4, and are just four games away from a historic sweep of the elimination round.
"It's there, it's in front of us," Robinson said of a possible 18-game sweep. "But again, the mindset that we really want to put in, is that all of the games that we're gonna have are crucial."
Robinson went on to warn that despite their perfect slate, the Pirates still have a long way to go and a lot to improve on.
"There are a lot of flaws that we have to really work on. Again, we have to keep on improving. That's basically where we're headed at," he explained.
"Winning hides a lot of flaws," the coach added.
Those flaws were displayed in the fourth quarter of their game against the Generals, when EAC scored eight unanswered points to make it an eight-point game, 66-74, with still 7:24 to go. Nevertheless, Robinson refused to call a timeout.
"I want them to find a way to really get back," he said of the tactic. "You have to trust them, that if they made a mistake, they have to figure it out on their own."
"(I) let them figure it out themselves," he added. "It's helping them also (to) grow."
That run by EAC allowed the Pirates to see for themselves that they still have to buckle down to work. Ultimately, Lyceum restored order upon the return of CJ Perez and twins Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino.
"It's my responsibility as their coach to make sure the flaws are being addressed," said Robinson. "Ang hirap kasi i-kwento. Iba 'yung ma-experience nila. Again, experience is the best teacher."
"So nakita nila 'yung ganoong sitwasyon, and hopefully next time, matuto na sila pag nangyari uli 'yun," he added.
The Pirates will try to extend their winning streak to 15 games on Friday, when they go up against San Sebastian College, which is trying to boost its own Final 4 campaign.
"They really look good, they really are a team that is fun to watch," Robinson said of the Golden Stags. "It's going to be a good challenge for us, playing against San Sebastian."
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