Lions face Bombers; Altas battle GeneralsBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—San Beda, a team that has established a dynasty in the NCAA over the past six years, battles a Jose Rizal U team hoping to end a long wait for the title as the 88th NCAA basketball tournament heads to the homestretch at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Lions, winners of five of the last six titles, go into the 6 p.m. duel as the favorite, owing to their dominant showing against the Bombers in the first round.
It was a one-sided affair in the first round with the Lions coming away with a 62-37 triumph. The Bombers’ 37 point output was the lowest by any team this season.
San Beda is actually gunning for a fifth straight win that could push the Lions closer to securing the first Final Four berth, while the Bombers, whose last title came in 1972, are looking to bounce back from a lethargic showing in their game against Perpetual Help last Monday.
The Altas face the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals in the first game at 4 p.m. in a rematch of their memorable first round meeting.
Perpetual Help was given up for dead in the last minute of the game, before Jett Vidal exploded for 11 points, including the game-winning triple with five seconds left to lift the Altas.
The senior guard from Tondo is riding high on a career-high 32-point effort against the Bombers last Monday.
The Generals saw their three-game winning run snapped by Mapua last week. Coach Gerry Esplana is expecting more production from Cameroonian center Noube Happi, who was held to a season-low nine points that went with eight turnovers against the Cardinals.