7 p.m. -- Air Force vs. FEU-NRMF
FEU-Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation stakes its unbeaten record when it meets unpredictable Philippine Air Force in the 2016 MBL Open basketball tournament at the Aquinas gym in San Juan.
Game time is 7 p.m. with the Tamaraws seeking their fifth straight win and an outright seat in the semis and the Jet Force gunning for their first victory in two matches.
The Fairview, Quezon City-based Tamaraws of manager Nino Reyes swept their first four assignments behind the virtuoso performance of Fil-Canadian standout Clay Crellin, the towering presence of Cameroonian Moustapha Arafat and the on-court leadership of veterans Egay Billones and Edwin Asoro.
Crellin, the high-leaping and slam-dunkimg star from Vancouver, Canada, finished with 35 points in FEU’s opening 85-74 win over Wang’s Ballclub.
He also topscored with 28 points against New San Jose Builders (91-56), 17 points against Jamfy (103-53) and 13 points against defending champion Macway Travel Club (72-65).
Arafat, a 6-6 athletic center, provided the defensive muscle in three of the Tams’ four victories.
Billones, Asoro, Joseph Gabayni, Dexter Zamora, Roider Cabrera, Eugene Tan, and ex-pros Eric Rodriguez, Arnold Gamboa and Angelus Raymundo provide ample scoring support for FEU-NRMF.
Handled by PAF commanding general Lt. General Edgar R. Fallorina, team manager Colonel Elpidio Talja and coach Sgt. Alvin Zuniga , the Jet Force are hoping to make an impact in their return to the 17-year-old league.
Air Force dropped a close 70-74 decision to NCAA member Emilio Aguinaldo College at the Trinity University gym last Oct.15.
But the Jet Force played well enough to keep the game close and interesting, losing only in the closing seconds against the younger Generals.
Ranimark Tano, Paulino Rebollos, Eaniel Jake Diwa, Francis Regalado and Jerry Lumongsod shared scoring honors for Air Force, which was handled by coach Jimmy Andaya.
MBL chairman Alex Wang said the top two teams after the single-round elimination will advance to the semis outright with twice-to-beat advantages.
The No. 3 and the No. 6 teams and the No. 4 team and No. 5 team will clash in a pair of knockout matches to determine the other two semifinalists.
The championship is a winner-take-all encouneter.
The prestigious tournament is being supported by Smart Sports, Ironcon Builders, Star Bread, Dickies Underwear and Gerry’s Grill Restaurant.
Anthony Sulit is the commissioner. E. Andaya