PERPETUAL Help and San Sebastian try to sustain their winning runs when they clash with struggling teams today in the NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Altas seek a third consecutive win against the Mapua Cardinals at 6 p.m., after the Stags, riding high on a two-game streak, battle the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals.
A victory by the Altas will allow them to forge a tie for second with San Beda, which improved to 5-1 after a 65-41 drubbing of Jose Rizal U last Saturday.
The Altas are coming off a 73-66 trouncing of the Arellano Chiefs last Thursday behind a stellar effort which coach Aric del Rosario believes will be their benchmark this season.
“If we play the same way against Arellano, we will be hard to beat,” Del Rosario said in Filipino. “But we must still show heart and effort in every game.”
Rookie Juneric Baloria has been a key contributor for the Altas this season. Against Arellano, Baloria finished with 21 points, after topscoring with 18 in the win over Lyceum.
Del Rosario has also been heaping praises on Harold Arboleda, who had nine points and a season-high 20 rebounds against the Chiefs.
The Cardinals have lost back-to-back games since beating San Sebastian in double overtime three weeks ago. They dropped a 53-78 decision to San Beda in a game where Lions coach Boyet Fernandez complained against the Cardinals’ physical play.
Coach Atoy Co has struggled to get the best out of his rookie-laden lineup, particularly in the final period, where the Cardinals found difficulty executing their offense.