San Sebastian College-Recoletos seeks to strengthen its hold of a spot in the top four while University of Perpetual Help System DALTA looks to keep its playoff hopes alive as the two teams clash in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 basketball tournament today at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City.
The Golden Stags and the Altas lock horns in the main game at 4 p.m.
San Sebastian is coming off a resounding 88-69 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) behind star forward Michael Calisaan’s 19-point explosion last Friday as the Stags jumped to a joint fourth with Colegio de San Juan de Letran on a 5-5 win-loss record.
But the Recto-based squad’s head coach Egay Macaraya is wary of Perpetual Help’s dominant import Prince Eze, who currently leads the Most Valuable Player race.
“Hopefully, my big guys are ready to sacrifice for us to contain Eze,” said Macaraya, whose team is competing minus a foreign student-athlete.
The 6-foot-9 Nigerian center of Perpetual came through with a monstrous output of 21 points and 19 rebounds in the Altas’ 88-82 overtime victory over Letran, which also plays without an import.
Gab Dagangon and GJ Ylagan proved to be key pieces as well as the Perpetual mainstays posted 21 points and 18 markers respectively to give their team a share of sixth with EAC and Arellano University on a 4-6 card.
“The players really wanted to win because they know that we’re still in the Final Four race,” said Altas mentor Jimwell Gican, who took the coaching reins following the indefinite leave filed by Nosa Omorogbe.
The Altas beat the Golden Stags, 68-65, in their first round encounter a month ago.
Meanwhile, Arellano University also aims to keep its playoff bid going when it takes on the bottom-dweller Mapua University at 2 p.m.
The Chiefs climbed to a joint sixth after beating Jose Rizal University in a double overtime thriller, 115-109, last Thursday.
Rence Alcoriza had a breakout game for Arellano as the shooting guard fired a career-high 23 points to lead five other players who tallied double figures in their previous outing.
The shorthanded Cardinals, for their part, try to snap a nine-game losing slide and improve their 1-10 slate.
Arellano downed Mapua, 91-82, in their first meeting as the last year’s runner-up scored their first win of the season.