Lions, Altas dispute NCAA lead
MANILA, Philippines - San Beda and Perpetual Help slug it out today in a much-awaited duel of fancied teams with no less than the solo lead – and probably the top seeding in the Final Four – at stake in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
The Red Lions actually show the way with an 11-2 card but the Altas are just behind at 11-3, making their 6 p.m. showdown a crucial match heading to the last two weeks of the double-round elims.
“That’s our goal, to make the Final Four first and hopefully end up with the twice-to-beat advantage at No. 1,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.
Perpetual Help mentor Aric del Rosario is also particularly concerned about snaring the top seeding.
“More than making the Final Four, our mission is to get the top seeding because we wouldn’t want to end up No. 2 or No. 3 in the semis where we will face either San Beda or Letran,” said del Rosario.
The Lions trampled the Altas, 72-65, in their first round meeting last July 27 but not after blowing a 20-point lead in the first half.
Emilio Aguinaldo College, meanwhile, tries to come up with a follow-up to its big 87-64 upset victory over heavily favored Letran last Saturday as it tries to close in on fourth-running San Sebastian against Lyceum in the 4 p.m. encounter.
The Generals tote a 6-7 slate, two games behind the 8-5 Stags, with the former needing to pile up wins in their last five games to salvage a playoff for the last semis berth.
“Our Final Four hopes is still in our hands but we have to do our part and win games,” said EAC coach Gerry Esplana.
The Pirates, on the other hand, are way behind with a 4-9 card.