By Waylon Galvez
Games Tuesday (The Arena, San Juan)
8 a.m. – SSC-R vs Letran (Jrs)
10 a.m. – EAC vs Perpetual Help (Jrs)
12 noon – SSC-R vs Letran (Srs)
2 p.m. – EAC vs Perpetual Help (Srs)
4 p.m. – Lyceum vs San Beda (Srs)
6 p.m. – Lyceum vs San Beda (Jrs)
In a preview of another possible Finals encounter, defending three-time champion San Beda University and Lyceum of the Philippines University collide at 4 p.m. for the lead in the elimination round of NCAA Season 95 Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Red Lions are unbeaten in six games while the Pirates are at second with a 6-1 slate.
College of St. Benilde fell to third place in the standings after the Blazers suffered its first defeat this season, a 74-71 loss to Lyceum last Friday for a 5-1 record.
SBU and Lyceum clashed in a thrilling title series the previous two seasons, with SBU lifting the prestigious trophy on both occasions.
Just like in their previous two face-offs with the championship on the line, expect an exciting game as they meet at 4 p.m.
Two other matches scheduled are as interesting.
Letran College tries to bounce back from a loss to bitter rival San Beda when it takes on San Sebastian College-Recoletos as 12 noon, while University of Perpetual Help System DALTA and Emilio Aguinaldo College meet at 2 p.m.
The Stags will play minus coach Egay Macaraya, who will serve his one-game suspension for his unsportsmanlike actions in a game against Lyceum last month, while the Altas will miss the services of veteran coach Frankie Lim, who is reportedly “on leave.”
San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez said they are up for a tough battle against Lyceum.
“I have high respect for coach Topex Robinson and their players like the Marcelino twins (Jaycee and Jayvee). They also have Reymar Caduyac,” said Fernandez, whose team is fresh from a 102-56 rout of the Altas last Friday.
“Those are the guys we’re going to prepare hard for. It will be a tough game for us again, but hopefully we can continue to bring that defensive mentality we’ve show in our game against Perpetual Help and be consistent.”
LPU latest win against CSB extended its winning streak to five games.
Robinson knows the odds stacked against them.
“It’s a big test for us playing mighty San Beda,” said Robonson.
“We are always up to the challenge. I mean… we will just focus on our team. I know they are coming off their best start as usual. But again, we don’t have control about how they will prepare for us. But we have control about how we prepare only, how we’re going to play.”
Evan Nelle will be at the forefront of the Lions’ offense along with James Canlas, Calvin Oftana and AC Soberano as they battle the Marcelino twins and Caduyac, while an interesting duel at center will pit Cameroonian centers Donald Tankoua of San Beda and Mike Nzuesseu of LPU.
Tags: 95th NCAA men’s basketball tournament, Boyet Fernandez, College of St. Benilde, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Letran College, Lyceum of the Philippines University, San Beda University, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Topex Robinson, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta