Chiefs, Red Lions eye NCAA Final Four bonus
BRACING for the tough Final Four skirmishes, Arellano, San Beda, Perpetual Help and Mapua jockey for top positions Tuesday in a preview of the 92nd NCAA basketball tournament’s postseason at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Setting the pace with a 13-3 card, the Chiefs shoot for the first twice-to-beat bonus when they clash with the Cardinals at 2 p.m., before the Red Lions target the same incentive against the Altas at 4 p.m.
Mapua and Perpetual Help are not lacking in motivation, though. They both get a shot at the Final Four incentive with a sweep of their remaining two games.
The Cardinals came away with a 69-59 victory over the St. Benilde Blazers last Friday to nail the last postseason berth. But coach Atoy Co was far from satisfied with the Cardinals’ performance.
“Arellano will blow us out of the court if we play that way [against] Benilde,” said Co, whose team got off to a flat start against the Blazers. “They’re playing sharp now.”
Widely considered as the best point guard in the collegiate ranks, Jiovani Jalalon will be playing against a squad that also boasts of fine playmakers in CJ Isit and Darrel Menina.
Arellano coach Jerry Codiñera is also adamant that the Chiefs seize their chance to claim the bonus.
“It will help us a lot if we have the twice-to-beat advantage,” he said.
Altas mentor Jimwell Gican has high hopes that Bright Akhuetie and Prince Eze could assert themselves against a San Beda squad that lost Donald Tankoua to a knee injury.
“It will not be easy but we will try to take advantage of it,” said Gican.
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