Altas gun for solo NCAA lead versus Cardinals
Perpetual Help shoots for the solo lead as it tangles with Mapua Tuesday even as St. Benilde and Emilio Aguinaldo College seek breakthrough wins in the 91st NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena.
The Altas are eyeing a third straight victory in the 4 p.m. duel with the Cardinals, who are coming off an impressive win over the San Sebastian Stags last Thursday.
The Blazers hope to end a two-game slide against the winless Generals at 2 p.m.
Made up mostly of rookies, the Blazers have struggled to get going this season, suffering a 53-82 defeat to Letran in their season opener that was followed by a 69-77 loss to the Altas last Friday.
The Generals got clobbered by the San Beda Lions, 80-108, in their debut.
The spotlight will be on Nigerian Bright Akhuetie who exploded for 44 points in the victory over the Blazers last Friday.
But repeating the monster performance will be tough as the Cardinals also have a Nigerian center in Alwell Oraeme who can match up with Akhuetie.
“I’m excited about our matchup,” said Akhuetie of his showdown with the 6-foot-9 Oraeme. “We know each other but on the court, we have to compete.”
The Altas welcome Prince Eze back into the lineup after the Nigerian center was suspended for the game against St. Benilde.
Perpetual will also pin its hopes on reigning MVP Earl Scottie Thompson, who dished out a triple double in the previous outing.
“Hopefully, we could sustain our good showing,” said Altas coach Aric del Rosario.
Apart from Oraeme, who averaged 14 points and league-highs 19 boards and 4.5 blocks in the first two games, the Altas will also have to deal with the high-scoring Josan Nimes, who had 20 points in the win over the Stags.
For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.