The San Sebastian College Stags and Arellano University Chiefs collide today to break their tie at the third spot while University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas stake their unbeaten slate when they face host Jose Rizal University (JRU) Heavy Bombers in the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament at the San Juan Arena.
Both the Stags and the Chiefs, which are bearing similar 3-1 win-loss cards, will face each other at 4 p.m. following the Altas and the Heavy Bombers encounter at 2 p.m. The secondary matches pit the Light Bombers and the Altalettes at 12 noon and the San Sebastian Staglets against the Arellano Braves at 6 p.m.
A win by the Altas over the Heavy Bombers will enable them to stretch their winning run to four and will remain a close second behind four-peat champions San Beda College Red Lions, which is leading the 10-team tourney with a clean 5-0 record.
The Altas of coach Aric del Rosario are riding on the crest of a three-game winning streak including a 73-65 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals on July 11, a feat that made them one of the serious contenders for the Final Four.
Del Rosario will lean on Earl Scottie Thompson, Harold Arboleda and Juneric Baloria, who were mainly responsible for their best start ever since joining the league four years ago.
“They have been carrying the team. But we can’t always rely on them, we need the other players to step up and provide support. Jose Rizal is unpredictable, we have to watch out,” said Del Rosario citing the Heavy Bombers’ ability to come back after losing their first two games.
A tight battle is expected between the Stags and the Chiefs as they fight for the solo third position. The loser will drop to a tie at the fourth spot with idle Lyceum Pirates that carry a 3-2 record. New regular member Arellano University is aiming for its first Final Four appearance this season.
The Stags and the Chiefs will enter the game coming off from hard earned triumphs with the former edging the Saint Benilde Blazers, 74-72, on July 11, and the latter beating the Mapua Cardinals, 68-63, on Friday.
Team Standings W L
San Beda 5 0
Perpetual Help 3 0
San Sebastian 3 1
Arellano 3 1
Lyceum 3 2
Jose Rizal 2 3
EAC 1 3
St. Benilde 1 3
Letran 1 4
Mapua 0 5