Rising Altas seek share of ‘NC’ lead vs Generals

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PERPETUAL Help seeks a share of the lead today when it tangles with a reeling Emilio Aguinaldo College squad in the 89th NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

Gametime is 6 p.m. with the Altas, sharing second at 8-2 with the San Beda Red Lions, looking to tie the Letran Knights on top.

A resurgent St. Benilde squad collides with slumping Mapua at 4 p.m.

The Blazers, whose season has been marked by close losses, are gunning for a second straight win following a 57-55 nipping of the Jose Rizal U Bombers last Monday.

St. Benilde coach Gabby Velasco said their experience of playing tight games in the first round have finally come in handy.

“We’re starting to use the experiences of our losses in the first round when it comes to tight games,” said Velasco. “It helped us against JRU.”

The Cardinals have not won since the 104-99 triumph over San Sebastian on July 6 and are hoping to avoid a ninth straight loss.

The Knights fell in a 76-80 upset to the Lyceum Pirates Thursday night, opening the door for the Altas and the Lions to catch up.

The Generals saw their three-game winning run come to a halt after a 69-90 loss to the San Sebastian Stags.

Still, they remain a tough matchup for the Altas with their tall and versatile lineup led by Happi Noube, who has posted double double averages in points and rebounds in the last four games.

“They’re a strong team and we have to be really prepared,” said coach Aric del Rosario in Filipino. “We can’t relax at this stage of the tournament.”

The Altas are coming off back-to-back close victories including an 82-80 win over the Arellano Chiefs last Monday.

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