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Battle for the spoils

Games Today
(The Arena, San Juan City)
10 a.m. – EAC vs Mapua (Jrs.)
11:45 a.m. – JRU vs SSCR (Jrs.)
2 p.m. – JRU vs SSCR (Srs.)
4 p.m. – Letran vs EAC (Srs.)

Non-Final Four teams share spotlight.

Four eliminated teams battle for pride today in the penultimate preliminary playdate of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

Last year’s champion Letran tries to salvage a joint fifth-place finish when it clashes with Emilio Aguinaldo College at 4 p.m., after fifth-running Jose Rizal University collides with San Sebastian at 2 p.m.

The Knights, at sixth with an 8-9 win-loss record, want nothing but erase the stigma of a 77-72 loss to the Mapua Cardinals last week that booted them out of Final Four contention for the first time in two years.

But the Generals also have their own goal to improve their 6-11 card that will eclipse their previous disappointing finishes over the last two years.

EAC is expected to improve its inside plays after grabbing only 29 rebounds in its close 65-62 win over College of St. Benilde last Tuesday.

Hamadou Laminou will continue to spearhead the Generals both on offensive and defensive end, along with Sidney Onwubere, who will return from an automatic one-game ban after incurring two technical fouls in their 87-71 defeat against San Sebastian last week.

Help will also come from Remy Morada, who finished with 18 points the last time.

But EAC will have its hands full as Letran will parade pointguard Rey Nambatac, John Quinto and Jom Sollano, who combined for 45 points in their loss to Mapua last week.

In the other matchup, a victory for JRU (9-8) would give it the fifth-place seat no matter the outcome of the Letran-EAC duel.

San Sebastian, for its part, hopes to improve its 7-10 slate.