July 18, 2019
San Beda University guns for a third win and the solo lead when it faces host Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) at 4 p.m. today in Season 95 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) seniors basketball tournament at the EAC Gym in Manila.
The four-peat seeking Red Lions are currently tied with San Sebastian College-Recoletos and College of St. Benilde that are also holding 2-0 records.
The Lions started their title-retention campaign with back-to-back victories highlighted by a 74-52 rout of Jose Rizal University on Friday.
But veteran coach Boyet Fernandez is taking on the retooled EAC with caution.
“EAC is doing great and its coaching staff is doing its assignment. I have so much respect for them. Their players are playing well,” said Fernandez, who instructed his wards to keep an eye on JP Maguliano and Jethro Mendoza.
“We have to match the intensity of Maguliano and we have to stop their shooters especially Mendoza.”
The trio of Evan Nelle, James Canlas and Cameroonian center Donald Tankoua will lead the charge while Calvin Oftana, Clint Doliguez and JB Bahio will provide extra firepower for the Red Lions.
Meanwhile, EAC look to ride on the momentum of its 84-82 win over two-time runner-up Lyceum of the Philippines University. The Generals escape the Pirates behind graduating guard Mendoza’s go-ahead layup also on Friday.
“We will try to visualize again that we can defeat the defending champion and do our job scouting them,” said first-year coach Oliver Bunyi, whose Generals hold a 1-1 slate.
“We’re hoping that we’re going to do the right thing to at least have a chance against San Beda,” added Bunyi.
Besides Mendoza and forward Maguliano, EAC is pinning its hope on prized recruit Marwin Taywan, Renz Gonzales and Renzo Tampoc.
In the juniors game at 2 p.m., the Red Cubs (2-0) will also shoot for a third triumph against the Brigadiers (0-2).
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