(Olivarez Sports Center)
12 noon – Olivarez vs TIP
2 p.m. – CEU vs BulSU
Olivarez College and Technological Institute of the Philippines dispute the No. 2 seeding today even as Centro Escolar University shoots for its 11th straight win in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque City.
Both toting similar 7-3 records and assured already of semis berths, the Olivarez Sea Lions and the TIP Engineers are expected to bring their A-game when they clash at 12 noon, knowing fully well a twice-to-beat advantage is at stake in the game.
Though the Sea Lions are on a roll, they have to play consistently and smartly from start to finish so they have a chance of avenging their 69-65 loss to the Engineers in the first round.
The Sea Lions have been on fire since that defeat as they won their last four games almost without trouble.
And the Engineers?
They were rampant the last time as they humbled the Colegio De San Lorenzo Griffins, 72-55.
“We really played with urgency, but in all our games since the start, we took it seriously one-at-a time. But you know, our target really is to finish the elims at no. 2. So our game against Olivarez on Thursday is very crucial,” said TIP coach Petit de Vera.
“We have the chance to secure a twice-to-beat advantage so we have to play aggresively,” added de Vera.
Meantime, the CEU Scorpions are heavily favored to repeat over Bulacan State University in their 2 p.m. encounter.
If the BSU Gold Gears can do the unthinkable of beating the still unbeaten Scorpions (10-0) today, they will clinch the fourth semis berth.
But if they fail against the Scorpions, the Gold Gears need to beat Diliman College on Saturday to have a chance of forcing a playoff with the Griffins.
However, that will only happen if the Griffins hurdle the University of Batangas Brahmans also on Saturday.
The Brahmans won their last two matches – the latest was a 77-74 thriller over the Diliman Blue Dragons – after dropping their first nine games.