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Hungry Lyceum starts hunt

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Games today:

(San Andres Sports Complex)

7:30 a.m. — Mapua vs San Sebastian (m)

10 a.m. — Mapua vs San Sebastian (w)

2 p.m. — Lyceum vs San Beda (w)

5 p.m. — Lyceum vs San Beda (m)

Lyceum of the Philippines University kicks off its title quest when it battles San Beda University in Season 99 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women’s volleyball tournament today at the San Andres Sports Complex.

Game time is at 2 p.m. with the Lady Pirates determined to take the first step towards their return to the finals.

Also seeing action in the busy four-game hostilities will be Mapua University and San Sebastian College, whose men’s sides will collide at 7:30 a.m. and women’s teams battle at 10 a.m.

Capping off the day will be the men’s squads of Lyceum and San Beda, who will tangle at 5 p.m.

The Lady Pirates will be marching with something to prove.

Last year, they made it to the Final Four for the first time in school history after finishing the single-round eliminations at third place with a 6-3 win-loss record.

They defeated favored Mapua University and University of Perpetual Help Dalta System in the stepladder semifinals to gain a chance to face powerhouse College of Saint Benilde in the best-of-three finals series.

But the Blazers put a stop to their Cinderella run as they displayed their prowess en route to collecting their second straight NCAA title.

Still, Lyceum refused to give up as it launches a busy off-season with the hopes of finally winning their first crown. The Lady Pirates competed in the 2023 Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Pre-Season Championship and the inaugural Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball Association.

Under the banner of Rizal Golden Coolers-Xentro Mall, the Lady Pirates made it as far as the semifinal before losing to the Lady Altas-powered Bacoor City Strikers in the best-of-three series.

Lyceum coach Cromwel Garcia said they have to focus on the present, especially against a San Beda side that is now being handled by veteran mentor Edgar Barroga.

“The competitions we joined back then helped us because we implemented a new system and we needed to adjust. We’re able to build the chemistry that we wanted,” Garcia said.

“We always told them to take it one game at a time and we need to start and finish strong.”

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