Emilio Aguinaldo College guns for a share of the lead with Lyceum of the Philippines as it clashes with Letran even as defending champion San Beda aims to get back on track as it faces St. Benilde in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 basketball tournament on Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan City.
Cameroonian Hamadou Laminou and team captain Sydney Onwubere came through double-double performances to power the Generals to a 74-64 victory over the St. Benilde Blazers on Friday to nail the win.
Another victory over the Knights, who fell to the Mapua Cardinals, 75-78, last week, in their 12 noon showdown will catapult the Generals to the top alongside the Pirates, who shocked the Lions, 96-91.
Laminou powered his way to 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks while Onwubere had 11 points, 14 boards, four assists, three steals and a block and should be marked men coming into their next game.
“We will rely on them the whole season and I expect them to come up big again,” said EAC coach Ariel Sison of the Laminou-Onwubere pair.
The Red Lions and the Blazers, both toting a similar 1-1 win-loss record, meet head-on in the second game at 2 p.m.
San Beda is coming off a shocking 91-96 defeat at the hands of the emerging Lyceum of the Philippines University last Friday.
The defending champion looks to bank anew on ace guard Robert Bolick and mainstay Javee Mocon while transferee Clint Doliguez is expected to provide the firepower off the bench.
Senegalese center Clement Leutcheu, who put up nine points and eight rebounds in the previous outing, is tabbed to lead the charge for the boys of rookie head coach TY Tang.
The Mendiola-based squad is the clear favorite to win over the last year’s bottom place finisher from Taft, having won two blowout victories in the previous season.
But San Beda mentor Boyet Fernandez sees their game against St. Benilde as a “test of our character as a team and as an individual.”
“CSB is playing well right now. Coach TY is doing great with his team. We need to step up our defense if we want to win,” Fernandez told The Manila Times in a text message.