Jose Rizal University (JRU) guns for one of the last two Final Four berths when it takes on also-ran Mapua University today in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City.
Raring to return to the semifinal round after missing out on last season, the streaking Heavy Bombers battle the Cardinals for the all-important win in the 2 p.m. curtain-raiser.
JRU notched a vital 60-58 victory against the gritty San Sebastian College-Recoletos last Friday, improving its win-loss record to 10-6 on the third spot.
Abdel Poutouochi and Jed Mendoza drained the crucial free throws in the endgame to secure the win for the Mandaluyong-based cagers in their previous outing.
JRU head coach Vergel Meneses is confident that his wards will go all-out for them to get back to the playoff picture.
“They (players) want to prove that they belong to this league. Most of our players are rookies but they are there fighting,” said Meneses.
But the veteran mentor maintains that they should remain cautious against the Cardinals, who are also riding on a streak.
“We must not be complacent against Mapua. They came from back-to-back wins. Nothing to lose for them. They just want to end the season on a winning note and improve their standings,” said Meneses.
Atoy Co’s men snapped an 11-game losing skid with a 79-69 win over College of Saint Benilde almost two weeks ago before stunning University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, 76-71, last Thursday to climb out of the cellar with a 3-12 card.
Meanwhile, San Sebastian College-Recoletos and Arellano University collide in the main game at 4 p.m. to continue their fight for a playoff spot.
The Golden Stags (7-8) seek to join Colegio de San Juan de Letran on No. 4 even as the Chiefs (6-9) try to keep pace with the Final Four chasers and avoid a loss that would put them on the verge of elimination.
San Sebastian is hoping to erase the stigma of its sorry setback to JRU while Arellano is looking to build momentum from its 95-65 rout of St. Benilde.