Final Four-bound San Beda University aims for a twice-to-beat advantage when it takes on also-ran Arellano University in Season 94 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) seniors basketball tournament today at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
The leading Red Lions (14-1) could clinch a top two spot that guarantees a semifinal incentive with a win over the ousted Chiefs (5-10) in their 4 p.m. tussle.
But San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez is not taking Arellano lightly.
“The game against Arellano is a character test for our team. We know that even if they are already out of the running for the Final Four, they are still a dangerous team,” said Fernandez.
“We will have our hands full and we know what’s at stake with a win. But we really have to play the San Beda way if we want to win,” he added.
The Lions hammered out a 98-79 rout of the Chiefs in the first round wherein main man Robert Bolick fired a historic 50 points—the second-best scoring output in NCAA next to the late Lim Eng Beng’s 55 points in 1974.
Bolick is expected to take charge along with fellow veterans Javee Mocon and Cameroonian center Donald Tankoua as the defending champion also eyes to stretch its eight-game winning streak.
Meanwhile, second-running Lyceum of the Philippines University guns for a twice-to-beat edge as well against Final Four contender College of St. Benilde (CSB) in the 2 p.m. curtain-raiser.
Lyceum (14-2) got denied of a semifinal bonus after absorbing a slim 79-80 defeat to Colegio de San Juan de Letran last Friday.
The Pirates of coach Topex Robinson have another chance to seal a top two position but the No. 5 Blazers are eager to keep their playoff hopes alive.
CSB (8-7) could still catch the last bus to the semifinals should it win all its remaining games and University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (11-5) drop its final two assignments, forcing a knockout match for the last Final Four slot.
This season, young mentor TY Tang’s Blazers are seeking to end a 16-year semifinal drought.