Surging Red Lions renew rivalry with weary KnightsBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
TWO teams with steep championship traditions collide for the first time this season in the 88th NCAA basketball tournament today at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Defending champion San Beda—owner of a record 17 league titles—and 16-time champion Letran meet at 6 p.m. with the Red Lions hoping to grab the solo lead over the idle Perpetual Help Altas.
Arellano, with an inspired James Forrester expected to lead the way, shoots for a third straight victory against Mapua in an earlier game at 4 p.m.
The Chiefs are coming off the biggest win of their NCAA existence with an 83-52 crushing of the Lyceum Pirates last Saturday.
The Lions have won back-to-back games over St. Benilde and Emilio Aguinaldo College in the space of three days to rise to 4-1. The game against the Knights will be their third in five days.
The Knights are looking for their first winning streak in what has been an up-and-down season for the coach Louie Alas’ wards so far.
“The standing that they are in right now belies the strength of the team,” said San Beda coach Ronnie Magsanoc. “It is the host team, it is a proud team.”
Letran will go into the game on a five-day break after notching a 66-60 win over Mapua last Monday.
“Coach Louie (Alas) will do everything to pump up the morale of his boys,” Magsanoc said.
One thing going for the Lions is the presence of the erstwhile suspended Ola Adeogun, who finally made his debut in the 81-65 drubbing of EAC.