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Mapua, Lyceum picked

  • Written by Theodore P. Jurado
  • Published in Basketball
  • Read: 193

Games today:

(Filoil Flying V Centre)

10 a.m -- San Sebastian  vs. Arellano (J)

12 noon -- Jose Rizal vs. San Beda (J)

2 p.m. -- Mapua vs. Jose Rizal (S)

4 p.m. -- Letran vs. Lyceum (S)

MAPUA seeks to solidify its hold of fourth spot as it tangles an inspired Jose Rizal University side today in the NCAA seniors basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The Cardinals are girding up for a tough battle in the 2 p.m. clash as the Bombers finally figured out how to win games against the league’s best.
   
Defending champion Letran, meanwhile, tries to arrest a two-game slide as it faces Lyceum of the Philippines University in the day’s other game at 4 p.m.
   
Behind reigning MVP Allwell Oraeme, Mapua finished the first round with six wins and three losses as it stays on track for a second consecutive Final Four appearance.
   
Holding a one-game cushion over the Knights (5-4) in the race for the last semifinals berth, every game counts from now on for the Cardinals.
   
JRU look liked underachievers until it posted the biggest victory of the season, a 79-73 decision over then unbeaten San Beda at the end of the first round that wheeled the Mandaluyong-based cagers back in the Final Four chase.
   
Tied with the Pirates in sixth place with a 4-5 record, the Bombers are two games out of the No. 4 slot, but another strong second round showing, just like last season, will give them in good position of making it back in the playoffs.
   
The huge win over the Red Lions has really boosted coach Vergel Meneses’ troops entering the crucial stretch of the season.
   
“Siyempre we’ll bring this one pagdating ng second round ‘di ba,  instead of coming off a loss, or galing sa tambak. I hope na every game will be like this,” said Meneses.
   
Letran suffered narrow back-to-back losses to LPU (72-75) and Mapua (75-79) to close out the first round, which put its title-retention drive in peril.
   
Knights gunner Rey Nambatac, the league’s topscorer in the first round with 22.7 points per game, hopes to get the needed help from his teammates, especially during crunchtime.
   
The Pirates have been solid in the first round, going 4-3 after opening the tournament with three consecutive losses, thanks to the brilliant showing of Mike Nzeusseu.