(The Arena, San Juan City)
10 a.m. – SSCR vs Arellano (Jrs.)
11:45 a.m. – JRU vs San Beda (Jrs.)
2 p.m. – Mapua vs JRU (Srs.)
4 p.m. – Letran vs Lyceum (Srs.)
Mapua tries to catch up with the top three teams even as defending champion Letran seeks to break out from the middle standings when they take on separate foes today in NCAA men’s basketball at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Cardinals take on the Jose Rizal University Bombers at 2 p.m., while the Knights clash with the Lyceum Pirates at 4 p.m. as the four squads start their second-round elimination campaigns.
A victory for Mapua would cement its hold of the third spot behind league San Beda (9-1) and second-running Arellano and Perpetual (8-2).
But JRU is coming off an inspiring 79-73 triumph over San Beda, becoming the only team to beat the Red Lions in the first round, to make it a dangerous squad in this phase despite its 4-5 win-loss card.
Still, Mapua coach Fortunato Co pins his hopes on his starters led by Reigning Rookie-MVP Allwell Oraeme to do the damage and duplicate the team’s 74-71 first-round win over JRU last June 25.
“We have to double our efforts and we can’t lose our focus this time. Lahat ng teams naghahanap ng panalo,” said Co.
Oraeme will be a force to reckon with after averaging 16.5 points, 18.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks a game.
JRU, meanwhile, will lean on its never-say-die attitude that they displayed in its stunning win over San Beda, where it rallied from a double-digit deficit late in the third quarter en route to the win.
The trio of Teytey Teodoro, Paolo Pontejos and Abdoulad Poutouochi are expected to step up for the Bombers after topping the team’s overall averages after the first round.