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Stags versus JRU Bombers

By Jerome Lagunzad

Games Today
(San Sebastian Gym)
2 p.m. — San Sebastian vs JRU (J)
4 p.m. — San Sebastian vs JRU (S)

Playing before a homecrowd has not been an advantage at all for the host school in the NCAA seniors basketball tournament so far.

But season host San Sebastian College-Recoletos hopes to break the trend today when the Golden Stags square off with the dangerous Heavy Bombers of Jose Rizal University on their own floor in Legarda, Manila for the latest edition of “NCAA On Tour.”

Tip off is at 4 o’clock, with San Sebastian raring to bounce back from a stinging 73-78 loss to pace-setting last Friday and JRU equally determined to come up with a fitting follow-up to a morale-boosting 65-62 victory over Letran last week.

Currently running at the lower half of the 10-team field with a 1-2 mark, San Sebastian could find solace playing on its old stomping grounds. But that could also offer plenty of “distractions” to the Golden Stags, something that is keeping coach Egay Macaraya wary.

“My players should play harder instead of pleasing and entertaining the crowd. ‘Pag nag-focus sila sa mga distractions, magiging mahirap para sa amin na manalo,” he stressed in a phone interview yesterday.

Macaraya certainly knows where he is coming from since his visiting Baste side silenced Arellano University 56-65 13 inside the Chiefs’ territory last July 13 while Perpetual Help foiled Mapua 60-63 right on the Cardinals’ nest exactly a week later.

“It’s a double-edge sword being the host team. But one thing is for sure, hindi magiging complacent ang mga bata. Lagi naman laming ganado maglaro lalo’t all-Filipino pa rin ang team namin,” he added.