Arellano University and San Beda College seek to keep their grip of the lead as the two take on lowly Emilio Aguinaldo and San Sebastian, respectively, in today’s start of the second round of elimination of the National Collegiate Athletic Association juniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Braves and the Cubs finished the first round with identical 8-1 (win-loss) records and should stay that way as the they are expected to hurdle the Generals (0-9) at 10:45 a.m. and the Staglets (1-8) at 12:30 p.m.
Arellano rode on Guilmer dela Torre, its best scorer with an average of 18.7 points, the league’s second best behind only St. Benilde’s Troy Mallinllin’s 21.8-point norm, and Aaron Fermin, the league’s best rebounder and blocker having averaged 11 boards and two swats a game.
Braves coach Tylon Darjuan though wants his team to focus on improving its defense after allowing their foes to 81.2 points a game, the league’s third worst.
“That’s our goal in the second round, to play tougher defense,” said Darjuan, who steered his team to a second place finish behind reigning seven-peat champion San Beda last season.
San Beda, for their part, has been playing like a well-oiled team having led the league in points scored with 94.1 points while allowing opponents to just 75 a game, which was second only to Mapua’s 74.
Other games today will pit Mapua versus Jose Rizal University at 9 a.m., St. Benilde versus Perpetual Help at 2:15 p.m. and Lyceum of the Philippines against Letran at 4 p.m.