San Sebastian seeks to stay within the play-in zone as it plays struggling College of Saint Benilde Friday in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the La Salle Greenhills Gym.
Teams ranked from third to sixth after the single-round eliminations will make it to the play-in round to determine the two other Final Four qualifiers.
As the Stags hold the No. 6 spot at 3-4, coach Egay Macaraya hopes that his troops will play with a sense of urgency in the 3 p.m. match with the Blazers, who are mired on a two-game losing streak.
San Sebastian is holding a half-a-game lead over seventh-running Arellano University, which takes on Lyceum of the Philippines University at 12 noon.
“They are a very good hustle team,” said Macaraya on CSB. “Ang importante, we will try to be composed the whole game.”
Sitting in fourth place with a 4-3 card, the Blazers actually still have a shot of making it to the top two, but their fate of clinching one of the two outright Final Four berths is not entirely on their hands.
Defending champion Letran and San Beda have continued to lord it over in the standings at 6-0, as the two bitter rivals need one more win to advance to gain automatic passage to the Final Four.
Mapua, which at 5-2 is a game ahead of CSB, looms to be a major threat against the co-leaders. The third-running Cardinals have a huge game against the Red Lions Saturday that will determine their fate whether they will make it to the top two after the short elims.
Both outside the play-in range, the Chiefs (2-4) and the Pirates (1-5) cannot afford to drop games anymore if they want to make it past the elimination round.