Blazers hoping to sustain hottest start ever

COLLEGE of Saint Benilde, eager to play after three game postponements due to bad weather, seeks a share of the lead as it takes on Arellano University today in the NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Justin Gutang, who was supposed to play as early as last week after recovering with a knee injury, is raring to suit up for the Blazers as they try to sustain their finest start in school history in the 4 p.m. clash with the Chiefs.

Mapua shoots for its first back-to-back win of the season as it tangles with skidding Emilio Aguinaldo College side at 2 p.m.

St. Benilde had its matches against San Beda, Letran and Jose Rizal University postponed due to inclement weather - which the team will face a tough stretch with make-up games starting Aug. 23 to cap its first round campaign, and possibly define its season.

With Gutang, the squad's leading scorer with 12.7 points per game, back in harness, the Blazers are determined to join the Red Lions in first place at 5-0.

St. Benilde is tipped to prevail over Arellano, which has lost two straight to remain at the near bottom of the standings.

The Chiefs are coming off a 64-73 loss to the Cardinals last Saturday.

Mapua coach Randy Alcantara is simply glad that he finally got the monkey off his back after earning his first collegiate win over Arellano that ended a five-game slide.

"Sana tuloy-tuloy na ito, na nakakakuha kami ng panalo. Pero hindi pa dito nagtatapos," said Alcantara, whose roster is mostly comprised of former Red Robins he used to handle and won two NCAA juniors championships.

The Cardinals hope to capitalize the Generals' long losing skid to sustain the gains of their breakthrough win against the Chiefs.

EAC, which is currently tied with Mapua and Arellano at 1-5, has not tasted a victory since stunning Lyceum of the Philippines University last July 12.