Knights, Lions try to stretch win run, face separate foesBy Cedelf P. Tupas |Philippine Daily Inquirer
LETRAN and San Beda seek to extend their winning runs when they take on separate foes in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Knights try to stretch their unbeaten start to five games as they battle the Lyceum Pirates at 4 p.m., before the Lions put their winning streak on the line against the dangerous Jose Rizal U Bombers.
With Raymund Almazan and Kevin Racal dishing out solid games, the Knights have proven relentless right from the get-go after losing in the finals last season to the Lions.
Letran rookie coach Caloy Garcia has found the right mix for the Knights, whose combination of rugged defense and an efficient offense have been key to their strong start.
Work in progress
Garcia feels there’s plenty of room for improvement from his team which barely survived St. Benilde, 61-60, last Saturday.
“It’s still a work in progress but I have been seeing plenty of positives,” said Garcia, an assistant coach in the PBA.
The Pirates sport a 2-2 card, but pushed Perpetual Help to the limit before fading down the stretch.
Lyceum coach Bonnie Garcia’s charges however showed that they’re capable of bringing down a powerhouse with their conquest of San Beda.
Shane Ko and Dexter Zamora form a potent 1-2 punch in the backcourt for Lyceum, which is expected to give Letran’s Mark Cruz and Rey Nambatac all sorts of problems.
The Lions survived a bruising duel with the Mapua Cardinals last Monday and San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez hailed his squad for rising above the physical play.
The Bombers pose a huge threat to the Lions with their vaunted pressing defense and their slew of shooters that includes Philip Paniamogan.
While Paniamogan has delivered with 20 points per game in the Bombers’ last two victories, the Lions have also been drawing big games from Baser Amer, who led the Lions with 17 markers against the Cardinals.