Can LPU match what CJ Perez-led Pirates did in 2017? Malabanan shares thoughts

At 4-0 in the ongoing NCAA Season 99, Lyceum of the Philippines University is spurring hopes that it could match what the 2017 Pirates squad led by CJ Perez achieved back in Season 93.

Back then, future PBA star and Gilas Pilipinas member Perez steered Lyceum to a pristine 18-0 finish in the regular season to clinch an outright finals berth.

However, Perez, who was named that season's MVP, and his teammates fell short in the championship round against the eventual champs San Beda.

Current head coach Gilbert Malabanan is not looking quite that far ahead but admitted that the school's legendary Season 93 performance is something his team is inspired by as they attempt to bring the team back to the finals.

"Actually that’s one of our motivations. That’s one of our inspirations but let’s see," Malabanan said in a mix of English and Filipino after they escaped San Sebastian on Tuesday.

"It will still be up to us if we can reach our old position."

LPU has yet to drop a game in Season 99, beating preseason favorites like Letran and Benilde before narrowly beating Perpetual and San Sebastian for an immaculate 4-0 card.

Malabanan, though, warned his wards against complacency as they still have a long way to go in the season.

"I don't want for us to relax because we're 4-0 but we still need to work. Like I said, this is not our goal," he added.

"Our goal is going to the top and and to the finals and championship. Right now, we need to put in the work."

—JMB, GMA Integrated News

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