St. Benilde, Perpetual to bolster Final Four bid

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COLLEGE of St. Benilde (CSB) Blazers and University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (UPHDS) Altas try to keep their hope for a Final Four alive when they face separate foes on Monday in the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

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The Blazers, carrying a 9-5 slate, collide against already ousted Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals at 2 p.m. while fifth front running Altas battle against also out of contention San Sebastian College Stags at 4 p.m.

The two secondary matches pit CSB Greenies against Mapua Red Robins at 12 noon and the UPHSD Altalettes against SSC Staglets at 6 p.m.

Coach Gabby Velasco’s Blazers are currently locked with the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers from third to fourth spot and need to win all four remaining matches to avoid being dislodge by the Altas, who are just a game away with an 8-6 card.

Four peat champion San Beda College Red Lions are pacing the team standing with a 12-2 record but the Arellano University Chiefs are not far behind with 10-4 card for solo second spot.

Velasco hopes his wards could ride on with their 79-72 win over the Cardinals in their first round of the elimination last July 25.

Coach Aric del Rosario of the Altas expressed confidence his players can overcome the challenge of the Stags, whom they defeated 82-79 in their first meeting on July 25. Del Rosario urged his wards to bounce back after their hearthbreaking 81-91 setback to Mapua Cardinals last Wednesday.

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