(Filoil Flying V Centre)
12 noon – SBC vs SSC-R (Srs)
2 p.m. – LPU vs MIT (Srs)
4 p.m. – JRU vs CSJL (Srs)
HOPING to move on without Cameroon’s Donald Tankoua, pacesetting San Beda guns for win No. 11 against a dangerous San Sebastian side today in the NCAA seniors basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Coach Jamike Jarin believes on the capabilities of what’s left of the Red Lions’ frontline - which has Ben Adamos, Calvin Optana, Junjun Bonsubre, Raniel Navarro and another Cameroonian Arnaud Noah - to deliver in their 12 noon tussle with the Stags.
“We can’t fill the vacuum he (Tankoua) left by just one or two players, we need to do it by committee. That’s how we do things here, we prepare these young men for battles,” said Jarin.
In other games, a rejuvinated Jose Rizal University shoots for a third straight victory against defending champion Letran at 4 p.m., while Mapua takes on Lyceum of the Philippines University at 2 p.m. in a pair of showdowns among teams that are hotly contesting the No. 4 spot.
Tankoua, who ably filled the void left by Ola Adeogun in the tournament, suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the first quarter of San Beda’s 90-82 victory over Emilio Aguinaldo College Friday.
Without Tankoua, who averaged 15.7 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 11 games this season, it put into question the Lions’ quest for redemption after last year’s championship debacle.
San Beda, currently with a league-best 10-1 record, is wary of San Sebastian, which is coming off a 71-55 reversal of University of Perpetual Help System Dalta last Friday.
Holder of the second worst record in the league at 2-9, the Stags are out to prove something that they wanted to end the season strong just like what they did in crushing the Altas.
“They (San Sebastian) really played well (against Perpetual Help),” said Jarin.
While the Lions are ready to pull away, those contending for Final Four slots are going all out, especially that every game matters at this point of the season.
The Cardinals are momentarily at No. 4 with a 6-4 slate while the Pirates, Knights and the Bombers are just a game behind with identical 5-5 cards.
JRU is fresh from a 65-60 conquest of Mapua, while LPU extended Letran’s losing streak to three with a 68-66 squeaker last Thursday.
On a two-game winning roll, coach Vergel Meneses is hoping that everything goes well for the Bombers in a possible repeat of their remarkable second round run that carried them to the playoffs.
In juniors play yesterday, Sam Abu Hijle had 27 points and 13 rebounds as titleholder San Beda downed LPU, 80-66, while Arellano, behind Guilmer dela Torre’s 22 points, beat JRU, 85-80, to remain tied in first place at 11-1.
Jasper Salenga and Sherwin Concepcion had 17 points apiece as Mapua routed San Sebastian, 91-66, for its ninth win in 11 contests.