Final 4 order known Friday
San Beda and Arellano try to make the most out of their second chance of bagging the top seed as they square off today in the 90th NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Tied at the top with identical 13-5 records, the Red Lions and Chiefs collide at 4 p.m. with the winner arranging a Final Four clash with the loser of another playoff for the No. 3 position at 2 p.m. between Perpetual Help and Jose Rizal.
Both the Lions and Chiefs already own a twice-to-beat advantage regardless of the result of their game. The loser of the San Beda-Arellano clash meets the winner of the Perpetual-Jose Rizal duel in the other Final 4 duel.
The San Beda-Arellano tussle comes just six days after the Chiefs pulled off a thrilling 78-76 victory over the Lions that put Arellano in prime position to clinch the top seed. But the Chiefs bungled that opportunity, losing to Lyceum, 95-101, last Wednesday.
“We just have to try again,” said Arellano rookie coach Jerry Codiñera. “It’s always good to enter the Final Four with a victory.”
The Chiefs have been the surprise package of the season, posting a seven-win improvement from last year to crash the Final Four for the first time. But they’ll be facing a San Beda squad aching to rediscover its winning form.
For the first time in five seasons, the Lions find themselves in a losing slide as they dropped their last three games, incidentally against teams that qualified for the Final Four.
The spotlight will once again be on the matchup of foreign recruits Ola Adeogun of San Beda and Dioncee Holts of Arellano. Although Adeogun posted 22 points last Saturday against the Chiefs, it was Holts who proved to be the more effective contributor.
The Bombers swept the Altas in the elimination round, but Perpetual Help has been displaying flashes of its mean form.
Altas guard Earl Scott Thompson has been on a tear late in the season as he closed in on his first Most Valuable Player award.
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