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Lions, Chiefs try to arrange championship showdown

Games Today
(MOA Arena, Pasay City)
10 a.m. – San Beda vs Arellano (Jrs.)
12 noon – MIT vs CSB-LSGH (Jrs.)
2 p.m. – San Beda vs Perpetual (Srs.)
4 p.m. – Arellano vs Mapua (Srs.

San Beda and Arellano try to forge a championship duel when they face dangerous rivals today in the crucial NCAA Final Four stage at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

A victory for both the Red Lions and the Chiefs, who enjoy twice-to-beat advantages after finishing the double-round eliminations on top, would arrange a best-of-three showdown for the title.

Top seed San Beda, last year’s runnerup, collides with No. 4 University of Perpetual Help at 2 p.m., while No. 2 Arellano clashes with third seed Mapua at 4 p.m.

Though fancied in their respective matchups because of their incentives, San Beda Coach Jamike Jarin and Arellano mentor Jerry Codiñera admit that they are at a disadvantage going into this round.

Both teams are coming off a playoff game last Monday for the No. 1 spot, in which the Red Lions won, 80-73.

“We’re at a disadvantage because we were in a playoff match and our opponents were resting, watching us and scouting us,” said Jarin.

“We’ve been exposed dito sa playoffs, naii-scout kami. Posibleng maka-adjust sila,” added Codiñera.

Still, Jarin and Codiñera are clinching into the positive side of their playoff match, with San Beda hoping to sustain their momentum in order to nail an 11th straight finals appearance.

Arellano, for its part, would be using its playoff loss as a wake-up call in doubling its efforts to gain a first finals appearance in two years.

Facing Perpetual in the Final Four, however, is nothing new to San Beda. The Red Lions clashed with the Altas from 2012 to 2014 – and won all three duels.

Yet, Jarin remains wary of Perpetual’s big men Bright Akhuetie and Prince Eze, shooter Gab Dagangon, and guards Keith Pido and Daryl Singontiko.