Stags target 15th straight triumph
MANILA, Philippines—San Sebastian, coming off a tight win over Perpetual Help, tries to match its longest winning streak when it tangles with Mapua Friday in the 87th NCAA basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
A victory in the 4 p.m. duel will give the Stags their 15th straight win, duplicating the achievement two seasons ago under former coach Ato Agustin.
Lyceum seeks to end a three-game slide and revive its Final Four drive when it clashes with Arellano at 2 p.m.
The Pirates are tied for fifth with St. Benilde with a 5-8 record, but the Chiefs are also in contention with a 4-10 record, setting the stage for an explosive clash.
Lyceum has decided to finish the season without big man Allan Santos, who has been suspended indefinitely for disciplinary reasons, and the Chiefs will look to exploit his absence. Santos grabbed 10 rebounds in the Pirates’ 84-74 win over the Chiefs in the first round.
With Mapua expected to put up a tougher stand as it fights for the remaining Final Four berth, San Sebastian coach Topex Robinson has challenged his team to turn its game up a notch.
The narrow 77-76 win over the cellar-dwelling Altas last Wednesday, Robinson said, should serve as a wake-up call for the Stags.
“Sometimes you get used to winning, it gets boring,” said Robinson. “We needed something like that to jerk us up. I could use the game to challenge the players.
Calvin Abueva, Ronald Pascual and Ian Sangalang will again spearhead San Sebastian, which is gunning for a repeat of the 71-66 win in the first round.
The Cardinals also have a trio of stars in Allan Mangahas, Yousif Taha and Josan Nimes and can tighten their hold of the fourth and last postseason spot with an upset against the Stags.
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