SAN Beda College seeks to close in on unbeaten leader Lyceum of the Philippines University as it takes on last year’s finals foe Arellano University today in the 93rd NCAA basketball tournament at the Filoil Arena in San Juan City.
The Lions survived the Perpetual Help Altas, 57-53, in an “NCAA on Tour” game on Aug. 17 at the Perpetual Help Gym to stay at No. 2 with a 7-1 (win-loss) record.
A victory over the Chiefs, whom the former swept in last season’s finale, in their 4 p.m. game would push them closer to the Pirates, who finished the first round on top with a perfect 9-0 slate.
The defending champions will be playing an Arellano University side that is coming off an 87-81 win over St. Benilde Friday.
Rookie Levi dela Cruz unleashed a career-high 24 points to make up for Kent Salado’s subpar nine-point effort, while helping the Chiefs secure their third win against five defeats to enhance their Final Four aspiration.
And San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez has taken notice.
“We know that they’re main man is Kent Salado, but we have to be ready because they have players who can step up also,” said Fernandez.
Jose Rizal University, for its part, seeks to keep its hold on the No. 3 spot with a 5-3 (mark) as it takes on Mapua, which is currently at the bottom with a 1-7 card, at 2 p.m.
The Bombers, who downed the San Sebastian Stags, 73-62, at the San Sebastian Gym in Mendiola, Manila Thursday, will be brandishing their feared defense when they take on the Cardinals.
In eight games, JRU has shackled down its foes to a league-best 62 points a game. It will play a Mapua team that is ranked eighth in points scored (69.5 points) and eighth in points allowed (77.3).
Also, Teytey Teodoro has come back to life after exploding for 19 points including a pair of triples in the fourth quarter that powered Jose Rizal to victory.
12 noon – JRU vs Mapua (jrs)
2 p.m.- JRU vs Mapua (srs)
4 p.m- SBC vs AU (srs)
6 p.m.- SBC vs AU (jrs)