HOST Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers and College of Saint Benilde Blazers both bearing 9-5 records will face separate foes today in the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) seniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
Both the Heavy Bombers and the Blazers, who are tied at the third spot, need to win today to remain in contention for the semifinal slots. They are just two wins away from second front running Arellano University Chiefs, who are carrying an 11-4 record and four notches behind solo leader San Beda College Red Lions with 13-2 card.
The Bombers of coach Vergel Meneses collide with the San Sebastian College Stags at 4 p.m. following the Blazers vs. Letran Knights battle at 2 p.m. In the high school division, Letran Squires face the CSB Greenies at 12 p.m. while the Jose Rizal Light Bombers take on the San Sebastian Staglets at 6 p.m.
Meneses expressed confidence on his wards’ ability to overcome the Stags, whom they crushed 88-81, in their first meeting on July 2 while the Blazers are hoping to duplicate their 85-71 victory over the Knights on July 21.
“We beat Letran the first time but it was a tough game,” said Saint Benilde coach Gabby Velasco. “We expect a tougher game this time because Letran should be determined to also make it to the Final Four like us.”
Letran lost to archrival San Beda, 44-73, on Saturday to remain stranded at the sixth spot with a 6-8 slate. The Muralla-based school, however, would remain in contention if it could sweep its last four outings and if none among JRU, Saint Benilde and Perpetual Help (8-6) would surpass the 10-win plateau.
“We’ll take it a game at a time,” said Letran coach Caloy Garcia.