Arellano University and Colegio de San Juan de Letran eye to inch closer to the last Final Four slot when they take on also-ran Mapua University and College of St. Benilde, respectively, in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 basketball tournament today at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City.
The Chiefs battle the Cardinals at 2 p.m. while the Knights take on the Blazers at 4 p.m.
Arellano and Letran are currently sharing the fourth spot with San Sebastian College-Recoletos as all three carry identical 8-9 win-loss records.
The last year’s runner-up seeks to keep its winning streak to solidify its semifinals bid.
Despite the absence of main man Kent Salado, Arellano extended its winning run to three games as it turned back University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, 62-52, last Thursday.
Lervin Flores and Rence Alcoriza stepped up for the Chiefs in their previous outing, posting 19 and 16 points, respectively.
Salado would miss the rest of Arellano’s campaign this season due to a medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury, which the explosive guard suffered in their crucial 85-79 win over San Sebastian last week.
Head coach Jerry Codiñera hopes his wards continue their impressive performance in the absence of their top gunner.
“As I keep saying, we have to step up and fill that void.”
The Knights, meanwhile, aim to stay in the tight race to the Final Four.
Letran put up a valiant stand against rival San Beda College but it was not enough to save the Intramuros-based cagers from absorbing a 68-73 defeat last Friday.
Both Mapua (3-14) and St. Benilde (4-13) are just out to end their season on a bright note.
In the non-bearing game day opener, ousted teams Emilio Aguinaldo College (6-11) and Perpetual (4-12) tangle at 12 noon.
JEREMIAH M. SEVILLA