(Filoil EcoOil Centre)
1:30 p.m. — Perpetual vs San Sebastian
3:30 p.m. — Lyceum vs San Beda
San Beda University aims to intensify its drive for a Final Four berth when it faces Lyceum of the Philippines University in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 99 men’s basketball tournament today at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.
Tip-off is at 3:30 p.m. with the Red Lions looking for a crucial victory that will boost their chances for another trip to the semifinals of the country’s oldest collegiate basketball tournament.
It, however, will not be easy for the Red Lions as the Pirates are also determined to punctuate their elimination round campaign with an emphatic win before marching to the Final Four armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.
Lyceum sits at the second place with a 13-4 win-loss record while San Beda is at fourth with a 10-6 slate. Sitting on top of Mapua University with 14-3 while College of Saint Benilde is at fourth with 11-6 to round out the semifinal picture in the final stretch of the double-round eliminations.
With that, the Red Lions have to defeat Lyceum and pull off another important win over rival Letran College to safely make it to the next round.
A loss in either one of their two remaining matches would put the Red Lions’ semifinal hopes in limbo as they have to wait for the result of the remaining matches.
Red Lions coach Yuri Escueta said they will go all out in their remaining games to gain massive momentum in the Final Four regardless of whom they will be facing.
“Again, we just have to play until the end whatever the result is. We can’t give up and we have to show the right effort and the right execution regardless of who we are up against,” Escueta, whose wards lost to the Pirates, 62-67, in their first encounter on 8 October, said.
“We lost to Arellano and San Sebastian so we aren’t worried about who we will face.”
Lyceum coach Gilbert Malabanan, meanwhile, vowed to keep on fighting despite securing the second twice-to-beat incentive in the semifinals.
“We’re happy to get the No. 2 spot and the twice to beat but the job’s not done,” said Malabanan, adding that they will be banking anew on the inspired performances of Mclaude Guadaña and John Barba in overcoming the dangerous Lions.
“This is just the start of the path we’re on. We want to achieve our goal and that’s what we want to tell our players.”
Meanwhile, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta tries to catch the bus headed for the next round when it battles San Sebastian College in the first game at 1:30 p.m.