SAN Sebastian, hoping to gain the needed separation from its closest pursuer Mapua in the race for the last Final Four berth, plays Lyceum of the Philippines University today in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
A win over the Pirates in the 2 p.m. match will give the Stags (8-6) a two-game cushion over the idle Cardinals (7-8).
Coach Egay Macaraya hopes that everyone is healthy for San Sebastian to slug it out with LPU, which is seeking to clinch the No. 2 ranking in the Final Four or in the step-ladder format in case defending champion San Beda completes a 18-0 sweep of eliminations.
“Very hard. Especially coming off game like this,” said Macaraya, referring to last Thursday’s scrambling 62-59 win over Jose Rizal University.
The Pirates are unbeaten in the second round and sport a 12-3 record overall to remain on course for another championship round stint.
“We need everybody to stop LPU. With the way they are playing right now, yung winning streak nila. With Mike Nzeusseu and the Marcelino brothers (Jaycee and Jayvee). We know na lahat naman sila talaga, magagaling,” said Macaraya.
Allyn Bulanadi, who was under the weather and scored a season-low six points against the Bombers, hope to get 100 percent for the Stags to get their offensive game going against the Pirates.
College of Saint Benilde, two games behind San Sebastian for the No. 4 spot, seeks to keep its slim Final Four hopes alive against also-ran Emilio Aguinaldo College at 12 noon.
Now at sixth spot at 6-8, the Blazers cannot afford to drop games from now on if they wanted to make it to the next round.
University of Perpetual Help System Dalta and JRU, both tied at 4-10 in seventh place, clash to cap another tripleheader at 4 p.m.