Despite missing the Final Four, Tan satisfied with Lyceum's season

By Dugout Philippines

In spite of failing to make the NCAA playoffs, Lyceum coach Bonnie Tan expressed satisfaction of his team's effort.

The league’s youngest member racked up a 7-11 record at season’s end.

But the team concluded the season with a bang by using its "giant slayer" tag on Arellano with a 101-96 win yesterday.

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“Hindi natin na-meet yung goal to reach the Final Four, pero nacomplement with a good finish this season with a win against a top contender this season," Tan said after the game.

During the first round, Lyceum appeared to be an early favorite to finally land a place in the semifinals, finishing with a 5-4 mark to tie both Perpetual Help and CSB for fourth place.

However, injuries and unforseen circumstances intervened in their second round run, stalling their team’s goal of making the Final Four in their final probationary year.

Tan admitted, “We didn’t have senior players at the final stretch of the season. We only had an eight player rotation in our final game. Whatever happened this season, at least we were able to finish the season on a winning note.”

This season, center Joseph Gabayni took on as the leader of their depleted lineup, consistently working as a double-double machine and finished the season with norms of 12.6 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per outing–easily becoming a shoo-in as the league’s top rookie.

Dexter Zamora, stepping up as point guard due to the sudden absence of senior guard Shane Ko during the latter part of the tournament, steadied their ship with averages of 11.2 points per contest.

Despite missing the Final Four, Tan vowed that his squad will return to the NCAA with a stronger lineup with the quickly maturing play of their newcomers this season, with their core joining this season’s PBA D-League wars.

“The coaching staff will evaluate our players’ performance this past season and identify the lapses we did. We’re raring to bounce back to prove ourselves to be a regular member in the NCAA,” Tan concluded.

Aside from Gabayni and Zamora, among the promising players that will return to the fold next season will be Wilson Baltazar, Paul Soliman, Allyn Malabanan, Jeremiah Taladua, Jebb Bulawan, and 17-year old Cameroonian player Guy Mbida.
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