SAN Sebastian College-Recoletos Stags and University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas face each other at 4 p.m. today in a playoff match to dispute the third berth in the Final Four battle of the 89th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) mean’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
Both the Stags and the Altas completed their respective elimination round assignments with identical 11-7 win-loss slates for the third to fourth spots.
The winner in the lone 4 p.m. encounter will occupy the third position and will face second finisher Letran Knights in the Final Four, while the loser, occupying the fourth will battle top seed and defending titlist San Beda College Red Lions in the other semifinals match starting on November 7 also at the San Juan Arena.
The four-peat seeking Red Lions topped the double-round elimination with a 15-3 card while Letran finished second with 14-4 record. Thus both San Beda and Letran carry a twice-to-beat advantage over separate foes, meaning they have to be beaten twice while they only have to win once to make it to the best-of-three Finals.
Coach Topex Robinson of the Stags expressed optimism for the Altas saying they are all out to prove their mastery over coach Aric del Rosario’s team, whom they defeated twice in the elimination, the first 78-77, on July 8 and the second 71-65 on October 19.
However, Robinson said that meeting either the Red Lions or the Knights in the semifinals is a difficult mission since his team has to win twice to return to the titular series, which they failed to do last year after losing to Letran.