• Mapua, JRU dispute No. 3 spot today

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    Mapua Institute of Technology and Jose Rizal University (JRU) will battle today for the No. 3 spot of the Final Four of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 91 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
    Game time begins at 4 p.m.

    Mapua coach Atoy Co expressed confidence that the Cardinals could defeat any team in the Final Four.

    “Everyone doesn’t see us as contender before the season begins. If we can sustain our impressive games in the Final Four, I believe we can beat any team,” said Co, who will be counting on pro-bound Josan Nimes, Allwell Oraeme, Mark Brana and Darell Menina, among others in their bout against the Chiefs.

    “We really need to contain also JRU’s top players like Pontejos and Bernabe,” added Co.
    The winner between Mapua and JRU will face the No. 2 Letran Knights, that hold a twice-to-beat edge in the Final Four next week. The loser of the match will play against No. 1 and reigning champion San Beda College, which holds the other twice-to-beat advantage.

    JRU, Mapua and Arellano finished the elimination round with identical 12-6 win-loss records for the No. 3 to 5 places.

    But the Heavy Bombers garnered the highest quotient score of 20 points against the Cardinals -1 and the Chiefs -20. That allowed JRU to avoid the knockout match as Mapua defeated Arellano for the last spot in the Final Four on Tuesday.

    “We don’t really think much of other teams because we’re focusing on our game and how we would win,” said Nimes.

    JRU coach Vergel Me¬neses said that his team is ready for their opponents in the Final Four. He is expected to bank on the prowess of Bernabe Teo¬doro, John Pontejos, Abdul Poutouochi and Marco Balagtas.

    “Our goal is to play in the Final Four coming off a victory regardless of which team we face,” said Meneses.

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