By WAYLON GALVEZ
Games Today (The Arena, San Juan City)
8 a.m. – JRU vs EAC (Jrs)
10 a.m. – Mapua vs Letran (Jrs)
12 noon – JRU vs EAC (Srs)
2 p.m. – Mapua vs Letran (Srs)
4 p.m. – Arellano vs San Beda (Srs)
6 p.m. – Arellano vs San Beda (Jrs)
Defending three-time champion San Beda shoots for win No. 11 as the Red Lions battle the Arellano University Chiefs in NCAA Season 95 Friday at The Arena in San Juan.
The first time the two teams clashed was during the opening match of the season last July 7, and the Red Lions handed the Chiefs a 59-46 defeat.
San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez said that is no guarantee of another win when they battle Arellano (2-8) – a team now handled by his former top assistant Cholo Martin – at 4 p.m.
“That was two months ago, and I think Arellano University has improved under coach Cholo,” said Fernandez. “The way they’re competing, the way they played, for me they’re capable of beating any team – even us.”
San Beda is coming off a 98-66 victory against Emilio Aguinaldo College last Tuesday, which extended the Red Lions’ win streak to 24 dating back to August of last season.
In that win against the Generals, Clint Doliguez, Evan Nelle and Cameroonian big man Donald Tankoua led the team in scoring with 13 points apiece, while leading MVP contender Calvin Oftana and AC Soberano had 12 points apiece.
Fernandez said he is satisfied with the way his team is performing, but their immaculate record is no indication that it will be a trouble-free ride for them in the second round, especially now that teams are hoping to improve their chances in the Final Four.
“Because we’re 10-0 we’ll just take it easy?. No. We know that every game counts because teams are fighting for position. Even us, we’re fighting for that 1-2 spot in the Final Four to get a twice-to-beat incentive,” said Fernandez.
Letran (7-3), on the other hand, tries to improve its own playoff bid as it clashes with Mapua (3-6) at 2 p.m. Larry Muyang had 24 points when the Knights edged the Cardinals, 89-84, in their first round meeting last July 30.
Jose Rizal University (3-7) meets EAC (1-9) in the first senior’s game at 12 noon.