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NCAA: Lions, Pirates seek rematch

Lyceum's CJ Perez tries to drive past San Beda's Robert Bolick during the NCAA Season 94 Round 2 match at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan, October 18, 2018 (Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Lyceum’s CJ Perez tries to drive past San Beda’s Robert Bolick during the NCAA Season 94 Round 2 match at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan, October 18, 2018 (Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

By Kristel Satumbaga

Games Today
(The Arena, San Juan City)
8 a.m. – Mapua vs San Beda (Jrs)
10 a.m. – LSGH vs JRU (Jrs)
1:30 p.m. – Lyceum vs Letran (Srs)
4 p.m. – San Beda vs Perpetual (Srs)

Defending champion San Beda and Lyceum look to forge a smoldering finals rematch today with separate rivals as stepping stones in NCAA men’s basketball semifinals at The Arena in San Juan City.

The top-seeded Red Lions collide with the No. 4 University of Perpetual Help Altas at 4 p.m. while the second-ranked Pirates tangle with the No. 3 Letran Knights at 1:30 p.m.

Both San Beda and Lyceum need only a win to advance to the championship after finishing the eliminations on top with 17-1 and 15-3 win-loss records.

Letran (13-4) and Perpetual (11-7), meanwhile, can throw a wrench into that dream finals by fighting on and forcing deciders.

The three-peat seeking Red Lions are on a roll with an impressive 11-game winning streak that includes an 80-72 win over the Altas last Tuesday.

San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez said they are using their recent victory against Perpetual as a vehicle to be more aggressive in the Final Four.

Perpetual, for its part, vows to end the string of setbacks against San Beda after losing twice this season, including 67-65 on opening day.

Perpetual mentor Frankie Lim, who once called the shots for San Beda, will call on Prince Eze and Edgar Charcos to match up against the Red Lions’ Donald Tankoua and Robert Bolick.

Meanwhile, Lyceum hopes for another shot at the crown against equally hungry Letran.

Last year, the Pirates gained an automatic championship berth after sweeping the 18-game elims only to lose twice to the Red Lions in the finals.

Boasting of a formidable frontline and a deep bench, Lyceum coach Topex Robinson will bank on reigning Most Valuable Player CJ Perez, Mike Nzeusseu, Jasper Ayaay and twins Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino.

Letran, which last won the crown in 2015, has the trio of Bong Quinto, JP Calvo and Larry Muyang as it hopes to repeat an 80-79 cliffhanger over Lyceum last Oct. 5. The Knights lost in their first meeting last August 87-82.

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