Lions, Altas figure in semis preview

ROBERT Bolick of San Beda University reacts after delivering a basket during their game against Lyceum of the Philippines University in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 94 men’s basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre. JOAQUI FLORES

Games Today:
(Filoil Flying V Centre)
12 noon – San Sebastian vs Arellano
2 p.m. – San Beda vs Perpetual
4 p.m. – Letran vs Saint Benilde

San Beda University and University of Perpetual Help System Dalta go head to head to deliver a quick look of the Final Four matchup in the 94th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball tournament today at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Action starts at 2 p.m. with the Red Lions looking to unleash a strong finishing kick as a fitting finale to an explosive campaign in the double-round eliminations.

Meanwhile, San Sebastian College and Arellano University clash at 12 noon to shatter their deadlock while Letran College battles College of Saint Benilde at 4 p.m. in a bid to gain momentum entering the Final Four.

After winning all but one game in the eliminations, the Red Lions took the top spot in the Final Four while rival Lyceum of the Philippines University, Letran and Perpetual settled for the second, third and fourth places, respectively.

With that, San Beda will have to go through Perpetual first before gaining a chance to defend its crown against the winner of the Lyceum-Letran showdown, where the Pirates are enjoying a twice-to-beat edge.

And the Red Lions showed that they are more than ready.

In their recent game against the Pirates, Robert Bolick and rookie James Canlas dropped 18 points apiece en route to a 75-68 victory.

San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez lauded his wards, but still demanded consistency, especially against Perpetual, which will be coming in with a kill-or-be killed mentality under a coach very familiar to the Red Lions — Frankie Lim.

Lim had glorious memories of San Beda after leading the school to four titles in his five-year coaching reign.

His only lost was in 2009 when San Sebastian College powered by future pros Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang swept the tournament.

All in all, he compiled a glowing 70-8 win-loss record in the elimination rounds of his five-year tour of duty.

And Fernandez knows that.

“They have a multi-titled coach and a good set of players that can beat anyone. We just have to be ready for them,” Fernandez said.

Meanwhile, the protest against the Altas is still in the air as the NCAA management committee has yet to release its decision on the eligibility complaint lodged against two rookies last year.

Fernandez said it’s the least among their concerns.

“We’re just going to take good care of ourselves. We’ll face and prepare for Perpetual on Tuesday and we’ll see what will happen,” said Fernandez.

“I hope that everything will be settled and cleared the next few days.”

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