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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Letran, Perpetual, Mapua eye top spot

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Letran, Perpetual and Mapua will dispute the top spot in the continuation of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 99 Juniors’ Basketball Tournament on Friday (March 1) at the FilOil EcoOil Center in San Juan City.

League leaders Perpetual and defending champion Letran, both toting 6-1 slates, face off for the number 1 spot in the tournament at 10 a.m., while their fellow pace-setter Mapua (6-1) takes on San Sebastian College (5-2) at 2:30 p.m.

Perpetual will look to strengthen its bid to gain a twice-to-beat advantage when facing the Squires in what is sure to be a tight battle.

Based on the results of the matches, only five of the 10 competing schools have realistic hopes of entering the semifinals such as Letran, Perpetual, Mapua, SSCR and San Beda (4-3), while the rest, Jose Rizal University, Emilio Aguinaldo College, College of St. Benilde, all with a record of 2-5, and Arellano University and Lyceum of the Philippines University-GenTri, both with 1-6 marks, will have a tough time barging into the next phase.

The Squires, Junior Altas and Red Robins won their matches against AU (106-85); JRU (102-84) and LPU (67-52), respectively, last Wednesday, while SBU beat EAC (51-44), and SSCR whipped CSB, (76-67).

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The final semifinal cast will be determined during the league’s last elimination playdate on March 3.

The top two placers will get a twice-to-beat advantage, while the 3rd and 4th seeds will need to win twice.

Perpetual coach Joph Cleopas’ wards registered their sixth win when they stopped the Light Bombers, 102-84, led by Most Valuable Player frontrunner Amiel Acido, who recorded a triple-double of 17 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists. He was assisted by JD Pagulayan, who had a game-high 24 points, shooting 6 of 12 from three.

“I told the boys na maging disciplined, from practice to actual game, and become disciples on our basics at mas gumaling kami sa fundamentals namin in preparation against Letran. Every day is a learning process, every day we correct our errors, one game at a time and just focus on our main goal to reach Final Four,” Cleopas said.

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