Vastly-improving Lyceum import Mike Nzeusseu lorded it over down low on Thursday night, hauling down a new personal-best of 22 rebounds in the course of the Pirates’ 75-58 victory over the St. Benilde Blazers in the 92nd NCAA seniors basketball tourney.
Lyceum coach Topex Robinson, however, wasn’t pleased at all—but in a more positive way.
“He was three rebounds short. I talked to him before the game to get 25 rebounds. That’s why I’m a bit disappointed,” said Robinson, tongue-in-cheek, earning a hearty laugh from sports scribes during the post-match interview inside the media room of The Arena in San Juan City.
Even the 6-foot-6 Nzeusseu, who also added 15 points and a block in another dominant performance, felt he failed on his personal task, saying: “Before the game, coach (Topex) challenged me to get 25 rebounds and I really thought I could have gotten those 25 rebounds.”
Nzeusseu’s impressive showing came on the heels of his equally stunning 24-point, 21-rebound performance in their morale-boosting 69-66 victory over perennial Final Four contender Jose Rizal U last Friday.
And Robinson is convinced their hulking reinforcement is bound to have more solid games.
“He’s a learner. He doesn’t feel good about himself. He’s really been working out and he’s being rewarded,” he said.
Nzeusseu added he’s eager to learn more from Robinson, who also serves as an assistant coach with the Alaska Aces in the pro ranks.
“Basketball is a learning process. I’m taking advantage of that since coach Topex is coaching in the PBA. He has a different vision so every day, I’m trying to get everything that I can get from him,” he said.
With 13 matches left, Nzeusseu said: “We have more games to go and hopefully I could grab that 25 (rebounds) or more.” – By Jerome Lagunzad
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