Defending champion San Beda College and Letran College will dispute the No. 1 seeding of the National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball Final Four at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City at 4 p.m. today.
The Red Lions and the Knights are entering the Final Four battle with a twice-to-beat advantage.
“Well, both teams are now holding a twice-to-beat advantage and that was everybody’s goal before the start of the season. But we will go all-out for the No. 1 seeding. It is the pride of our school to win every single game,” San Beda Coach Jamike Jarin told The Manila Times in a phone interview.
Jarin said that all Red Lions are in tip-top condition going into the Final Four, including pro-bound players Arthur Dela Cruz and Baser Amer as well as the 6’8 Nigerian Ola Adeogun. “Everybody is healthy and ready.”
Both San Beda and Letran concluded their elimination round campaign with similar 13-5 win-loss records hence their battle for the No. 1 spot today.
The Knights that eliminated the Perpetual Help Altas (93-64) out of the Final Four race on Friday, will lean on pro-bound point guard Mark Cruz, swingman Kevin Racal and Rey Nambatac in battling the Red Lions.
“We will fight for it [top seeding]even if it is just an ordinary child’s game,” said Letran coach Aldin Ayo.
San Beda boasts of being the Final Four top seed for the past nine years while Letran accomplished the feat 10 years ago.
It was also in 2006 that the Knights won their last championship by beating the now defunct NCAA member Philippine Christian University.
In the first game at 2 p.m., the Arellano University Chiefs and the Mapua Cardinals will fight for the last Final Four berth. The winner of that game will then face Jose Rizal University (JRU) on Thursday for the No. 3 seeding also at the Mall of Asia Arena.