Chiefs battle Stags in NCAA’s first On Tour game

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Arellano University U’s Marc Rivera blocks Mapua’s Jeffrey Sapinit’s shot during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Letran Gym in Intramuros, Manila last Sunday.
PHOTO BY
BOB DUNGO JR.

Arellano University hosts the first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) On Tour basketball game as it takes on Season 93 host San Sebastian College-Recoletos on Thursday at the Arellano Gym in Manila.

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The Chiefs go for a streak even as the Golden Stags try to avoid a skid as they battle at 4 p.m., with their junior counterparts set to tangle in the opening game at 2 p.m.

The squads from Legarda and Recto experienced contrasting fates in the season-opening day as Arellano repulsed Mapua University, 91-82, while San Sebastian bowed down to defending champion San Beda College, 67-76.

Arellano head coach Jerry Codiñera is glad to play in a familiar territory.

“There’s the home crowd. For us, it will be of big help. Also, the familiarity of the gym. We just have to utilize our advantage,” said Codiñera, who towed the Chiefs to a runner-up finish last year.

The five-year collegiate mentor though knows the resolve of the Stags, quoting from a television interview.

“You have to respect them (San Sebastian). The way they play–toe-to-toe, all the way, down the line,” said Codiñera.

“That’s how they played against San Beda,” he added.

Egay Macaraya’s wards gave the reigning titlist a scare in the first game of the season only to slip down the stretch en route to a loss.

“We just have to be ready to face them,” concluded Codiñera.

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