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Pirates drop hats to play as Jawbreakers

By John Bryan Ulanday

Its painful National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Finals loss behind it, Lyceum of the Philippines gets an opportunity to hone up for next season by competing in the Philippine Basketball Association Developmental League as the Zark’s Jawbreakers.
The Pirates, now known as the Jawbreakers, start their campaign in the D-League Aspirants’ Cup on January 18.
“It’s a new journey for us, we’re excited for the new partnership. Yung hindi namin na-complete nung NCAA Season 93, hopefull, ito yung continuation,” team coach Topex Robinson said during the team launch yesterday at the Zark’s Burgers Taft in Manila.
After sweeping the two-round elimination of the NCAA at 18-0, the youthful Lyceum squad was defeated by the battle-tested San Beda College via a 0-2 sweep of their best-of-three Finals.
“We’re on a different playing field. We’ll try to get better dito sa D-League. It’s a good opportunity for us. It’s a tough competition, it’s semi-pro. Kumbaga, yung mga kuya naman ang makakalaban namin ngayon. It’s something that we look forward to. We will try to compete in this bigger category,” Robinson said.
This will be Zark's second season in the D-League.
“Hopefully, with this partnership ay mag-improve kami. We learned a lot sa nangyari sa amin before. Mas maganda yung samahan ngayon, kasi aligned yung vision ngayon,” said team owner Rolandrei Viktor Varona.
Zark’s had a dismal 1-9 slate in the Foundation Cup, including a league-worst losing margin of 76 points (141-65) to Tanduay.
“Kung paano sila nagsimula, ganoon din yung vision ko. They started NCAA na nasa ilalim din sila. Then umangat, tapos gusto rin nila makabawi. I believe na parehas kami ng goal. It’s time to win,” Varona said.
Leading the Zark’s-LPU squad is no less than NCAA Season 93 Most Valuable Player CJ Perez.

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