Leading teams Lyceum of the Philippines University and San Beda College battle bottom-dwellers Mapua University and College of St. Benilde, respectively, when the second round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 basketball tournament fires off today at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City.
The No. 1 Pirates take on the No. 10 Cardinals at 4 p.m. while the No. 2 Red Lions tangle with the No. 9 Blazers in the opening game at 2 p.m.
After a remarkable nine-game sweep of the first round of the eliminations, Lyceum seeks to keep its unbeaten record and stretch its longest winning run in the school’s history.
Scoring leader CJ Perez is expected to lead the Topex Robinson-mentored squad as the versatile forward put up 18.6 points per game on top of 5.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
Robinson wants to see his wards work hard to stay atop the standings.
“The only way we could stay on top is for us to stay hungry and keep on improving each game,” said Robinson.
Mapua, which holds a dismal 1-8 win-loss card, tries to salvage its campaign for the rest of the season.
It would be a grueling task for Atoy Co’s team, however, as injured main gunner Andoy Estrella remains doubtful to suit up for the Cardinals, who were down to just eight men in their last outing that ended in a 59-68 defeat to Jose Rizal University.
Meanwhile, San Beda aims to keep within striking distance of the Lyceum squad, which handed the Lion’s lone loss so far.
Veteran tactician Boyet Fernandez warns the defending champions against complacency as they face the TY Tang-coached St. Benilde.
“You cannot really take for granted a Benilde team. They have a very good coaching staff. They’re improving every game. It will still be a tough situation for us,” said Fernandez.
The Taft-based Blazers, on the other hand, eye to snap their losing skid and improve their 2-7 slate.