Reigning champion San Beda High School and Mapua blasted their respective foes to share the top spot in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 92 juniors basketball competition on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Red Cubs, who own seven straight junior championship titles, banked on a strong third-quarter performance to waylay the Lyceum of the Philippine University Junior Pirates, 97-88, for their second win.
Forward Ed Velasquez scored 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting in the field, while Evan Nelle had 16 points, Joshua Tagala made 13 points and Carlo Obenza contributed 12 points for San Beda.
Mclaude Guadana led Lyceum with 23 points and five rebounds.
The Mapua Red Robins, on the other hand, overpowered College of Saint Benilde-La Salle Greenhills, 94-78, to join the Red Cubs on top with 2-0.
Meanwhile, Arellano University and San Sebastian will be chasing for a second consecutive win when they clash at 12 noon on Friday in the seniors basketball competition at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Chiefs will lean on Jio Jalalon, Donald Gumaru, Kent Salado, Levin Flores and Dioncee Holts.
A win by Arellano will send them on top of the standings along with San Beda College and Mapua Institute of Technology.
“He’s the heart and soul of this team, we need him to play like an MVP [Most Valuable Player],” said Arellano coach Jerry Codiñera of Jalalon.
But the Golden Stags of rookie coach Egay Macaraya are expected to go hard on the Chiefs. They posted a 54-49 victory against Saint Benilde in their first game.
“I want to instill in this team a winning attitude and we could achieve that by playing defense first,” said Macaraya.
Defending champion Letran College guns for win No. 2 when it battles a winless Saint Benilde squad at 2 p.m.
The Knights survived a grueling fight with the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 76-72, on Tuesday to finally barge into the win column.
University of Perpetual Help System DALTA and Jose Rizal University are also scheduled to play at 4 p.m. with both teams aiming for their first win.
Nigerian Bright Akhuetie, who is nursing an ankle injury and skipped his team’s first game against Arellano, is still a doubtful starter for Perpetual Help.