(The Arena, San Juan City)
10 a.m. – CSB-LSGH vs Lyceum (j)
11:45 a.m. – Letran vs San Beda (j)
2 p.m. – EAC vs Mapua (srs.)
4 p.m. – St. Benilde vs SSC (srs.)
Mapua aims for a repeat performance of its previous morale-boosting victory over San Beda last week when the Cardinals take on Emilio Aguinaldo College in NCAA men’s basketball at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Cardinals are coming off an inspiring 101-97 overtime triumph over the Red Lions, making them more dangerous in their 2 p.m. confrontation with the Generals.
A win for Mapua would not only improve its 8-5 win-loss record, but also cement its hold of fourth spot as the tournament reaches its crucial elimination stage.
At presstime, only seven of the 10 participating teams are chasing the Final Four seats with Arellano (11-3), San Beda (11-4) and University of Perpetual Help (10-4) currently occupying the top spots.
Jose Rizal University (9-6) and Letran (8-7) trail closely behind Mapua, while EAC, which totes a 5-9 card, tries to hold on to any sliver of chance it could get to make it to the next phase.
The Generals need to sweep all their remaining four games and hope that none from Mapua, JRU and Letran would go beyond nine victories.
While half of their chances are not on their hands, the Generals would still go all out to keep their morale alive.
“We don’t want to pressure ourselves. We’re just focused on obtaining more wins than we can,” said EAC coach Ariel Sison, whose team finished at the cellar last year with a 2-16 mark.
Sison would be relying anew on Hamadou Laminou and Sidney Onwubere, who average combined 31.3 points and 23.3 rebounds, but they will have their hands full as Mapua boasts of reigning MVP Allwell Oraeme, who alone posts 16.8 points and 20 rebounds per game.