San Beda and Lyceum of the Philippines University gun for the top seeding as the two collide today in what many viewed as a sneak preview to the finals of the 94th NCAA basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
The Lions are currently on top with a 15-1 (win-loss) record, while the Pirates are at second with a 15-2 slate but the winner of their 4 p.m. showdown will practically clinch the No. 1 spot.
If San Beda wins, it will automatically claim the top seeding regardless of the result of its final elimination round game with Perpetual Help on Tuesday, while an LPU triumph will book it that No. 1 spot even if the former win its last game and ends up tied at the helm since the latter beat it twice.
The Pirates won their first-round meeting with the Lions, 73-66.
“It’s going to be a big opportunity for us to learn and to grow as a team because they have a huge program, it’s going to be good fight with so much competition and respect as well,” said LPU coach Topex Robinson.
For San Beda mentor Boyet Fernandez, he will use the opportunity to experiment on some combinations and rotations.
“We would like to use that opportunity to get all the players to play,” said Fernandez.
The LPU-San Beda duel will feature teams that own the league’s deepest rosters.
LPU, for one, parades CJ Perez, the league’s reigning MVP, Mike Nzeusseu, skipper MJ Ayaay and the energetic Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee, while San Beda has an equally electrifying line up headed by Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon and Donald Tankoua.
“It’s going to be a dogfight, expect an exciting match,” said Robinson.