San Beda University aims to get closer to a sweep as it takes on Final Four contender College of St. Benilde (CSB) in Season 95 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) seniors basketball tournament today at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
The three-time champions Red Lions (16-0), who are just two wins away from an 18-game elimination round sweep that automatically grants a finals spot, duel the No. 5 Blazers (7-8) at 2 p.m.
With only CSB and finals rival Lyceum of the Philippines University standing on their way, veteran coach Boyet Fernandez wants his young Bedan cagers to take it one game at a time.
“Every win, the target gets nearer. But all they have to think is about our next game against St. Benilde,” said Fernandez. “This is a young team and we cannot give a huge amount of pressure at this stage.”
Fil-Canadian guard James Kwekuteye, MVP candidate Calvin Oftana and sophomore playmaker Evan Nelle will lead the assault as the Lions look to keep the momentum from their 83-55 mandhandling of Mapua University that secured them the top seed last Friday.
CSB, however, is out to fight for its tournament life and keep its hopes of ending a 17-year Final Four drought alive.
In the second game at 4 p.m., No. 4 San Sebastian College-Recoletos (9-6) tries to complete the Final Four picture against fellow contender Mapua (7-8).
A win by the Golden Stags coupled with a loss by CSB to San Beda will secure them a semifinal seat.
San Sebastian tactician Egay Macaraya will lean on MVP bet Allyn Bulanadi, Rommel Calahat and RK Ilagan.