(The Arena, San Juan City)
2 p.m. – SSC vs EAC (Srs.)
4 p.m. – Mapua vs CSB (Srs.)
Streaking Mapua guns for the remaining Final Four berth today when it battles a hungry College of St. Benilde in NCAA men’s basketball at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Cardinals aim for their fourth straight victory and 11th overall in their 4 p.m. confrontation with the Blazers to complete the semifinal cast.
Coming off a morale-boosting 77-72 victory that ousted defending champion Letran from the Final Four race last Tuesday, Mapua seeks to tie with University of Perpetual Help (11-5) at third place.
The Altas already advanced in the semis along with the Arellano Chiefs (13-3) and the San Beda Red Lions (12-4).
A victory for the Cardinals would not only duplicate their 78-68 first-round triumph over the Blazers, but would also crush Jose Rizal University’s hopes to fight for the last semis ticket.
But Mapua is aware of St. Benilde’s resiliency to rise from the ashes as the Blazers try to nail their first-ever victory after 15 attempts this season.
“They are hard workers. Hindi puwedeng balewalain, lalo na at naghahanap din sila ng panalo,” said Mapua coach Atoy Co.
Co will rely anew on burly center Allwell Oraeme to terrorize the paint after finishing with 21 points and 26 rebounds against Letran.
Help is also expected to come from Joseph Eriobu, Darell Menina and CJ Isit.
St. Benilde, for its part, is not losing hope of crawling out the dark hole with Clement Leutcheu, Yankee Haruna, Christian Fajarito and JJ Domingo in front of its attack.
In the other game, eliminated teams San Sebastian (6-10) and Emilio Aguinaldo College (5-10) collide at 2 p.m.