CSB, JRU face separate rivals in NCAA

September 19, 2014 10:27 am 

MANILA, Sept. 18 — College of St. Benilde and Jose Rizal gun to keep their place inside the magic four as the two face off with Letran and San Sebastian, respectively, on Friday in the 90th NCAA basektball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

At joint No. 3 with 9-5 (win-loss) slates, the Blazers battle the dangerous Knights at 2 p.m. while the Bombers tackle the already-ran Stags at 4 p.m. eyeing a win that will push them closer to clinching two of the last three Final Four berths available.

San Beda has booked the first ticket to the Final Four after dowing Lyceum, 76-60, with a 13-2 record while Arellano University is currently at No. 2 with an 11-4 mark.

The Blazers trounced the Knights, 85-71, in their first round duel on July 21 but should have their hands full this time as the latter is shooting for nothing less than a victory to stay in the Final Four race.

"We beat Letran the first time but it was a tough game," said St. Benilde coach Gabby Velasco. "We expect a tougher game this time because Letran should be determined the get the also want to make the Final Four like us."

Letran fell to archrival San Beda, 44-73, Saturday to remain stranded at sixth spot with a 6-8 slate. The Muralla-based school, however, is still in it if it could sweep its last four outings and hope not only one among Jose Rizal, St. Benilde and Perpetual Help (8-6) could surpass the 10-win plateau.

"We'll take it a game at a time," said Letran coach Caloy Garcia.

For Jose Rizal, it is looking to avenge its 81-88 loss to San Sebastian on July 2.

Ironically, the two changed fortunes from there as the Bombers went on winning to make it to the top four and the latter went on a 10-game skid after opening the season with a 3-1 record and fell to the lower bottom of the standings. (PNA)

LAM/JFM/PR

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