LYCEUM of the Philippines University seeks to keep its winning rampage going, while Emilio Aguinaldo College aims to stop it as the two collide today in the 93rd NCAA basketball tournament at the EAC Gym in Taft, Manila.
The Pirates roared to their sixth straight win by crushing the Perpetual Help Altas, 76-58, Friday and will go for win No. 7 when they take on the Generals in their 4 p.m. encounter as the league plays its fourth playdate as part of its “NCAA on Tour.”
EAC, for its part, made heads turn after slaying last year’s runner-up Arellano University, 85-79, Tuesday to jump to solo third place, just behind No. 2 San Beda, the defending champion which owns a 5-1 (win-loss) record.
And EAC coach Ariel Sison thinks they have a chance against LPU.
“We want to be the first team to beat LPU,” said Sison, who is seeking to improve his team’s 6-12 slate since he took over as coach last season.
EAC, however, could miss last year’s NCAA First Mythical Team member Hamadou Laminou for some time as the 6’9” Cameroonian injured his left knee late in the first quarter of their last game.
The recent injury was separate from the torn MCL (medial collateral ligament) Laminou suffered in the summer.
Laminou is currently undergoing an MRI.
In the absence of Laminou, Sydney Onwubere, who is playing his fifth and final season, is expected to step up big the way he did the last time out when he did everything with 17 points, including four triples, 14 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and a steal.
That’s one problem the Generals will have to solve as they also contend with the Pirates’ dreaded full-court press anchored on the pesky Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee.
“We’ll have to prepare and find a way to break it,” said Sison.
And there is also CJ Perez, who is averaging a league-best 19.2 points a game on top of 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and two steals (league second best).
Games today (EAC Gym)
2 p.m.- EAC vs LPU (jrs)
4 p.m.- EAC vs LPU (srs)