ARELLANO University and Letran fight for dear Final Four life as they battle already eliminated Mapua and College of St. Benilde, respectively, today in the 93rd NCAA basketball tournament at the Filoil Arena in San Juan City.
The Chiefs and the Knights are currently tied with the idle San Sebastian Stags at fourth spot on identical 8-9 (win-loss) slates and a win would ensure at least a playoff for a Final Four seat.
AU and Letran tackle Mapua and St. Benilde, both out of it all with 3-14 and 4-13 cards, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.
San Sebastian could make it a triple tie at No. 4 if it could hurdle Perpetual Help (4-12) in the final play date of the elimination round on Thursday.
Lyceum of the Philippines University (17-0), San Beda (16-1) and Jose Rizal (11-7) have long booked the first three berths in the playoff round.
Arellano is riding the crest of a three-game streak that was capped by a 62-52 win over Perpetual Help Thursday.
The Chiefs, however, lost ace player Kent Salado, who injured his right MCL (medial collateral ligament) in a game against the Stags last week and will be out for the rest of the season, and will have to continue searching for players to fill the void.
Arellano did just that, thanks to Lervin Flores, Rence Alcoriza and Levi dela Cruz, who came through with 19, 16 and 11 in their most recent triumph.
“As I keep saying, we have to step up and find ways to fill that void,” said Arellano coach Jerry Codinera.
Emilio Aguinaldo and Perpetual Help tangle at 12 noon.
Games Today (Oct. 17)
(Filoil Arena, San Juan)
8 a.m.- EAC vs UPHSD (jrs)
10 a.m.- MU vs AU (jrs)
12 nn.- EAC vs UPHSD (srs)
2 p.m.- MU vs AU vs (srs)
4 p.m.- CSJL vs CSB (srs)
6 p.m.- CSJL vs CSB (jrs)