Knights face Blazers in crucial race toward last semis berth
Letran seeks to assure itself of at least a playoff for a Final Four berth when it battles St. Benilde on Tuesday in NCAA Season 93 basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
A victory by the Knights in the 4 p.m. clash with the Blazers will keep their postseason hopes alive regardless of the results of Arellano University and San Sebastian College’s remaining games.
Three teams—Letran, Arellano and San Sebastian—are locked in a tie for the last Final Four berth with identical 8-9 records.
Unbeaten Lyceum (17-0), defending champion San Beda College (16-1) and Jose Rizal U (11-7) have already punched their tickets to the postseason.
“It’s an important game because it will decide our fate,” said Letran coach Jeff Napa.
The Knights could have avoided the complicated scenario with a win over fierce rival San Beda on Friday, but they were stopped in their tracks by the Red Lions, 68-73.
“There was a lot of frustration because the players felt they gave everything to win the game,” said Napa.
“But we reminded them to stay positive and get the win against St. Benilde.”
Napa said he couldn’t care less with the way San Sebastian and Arellano are playing at this point of the season.
Arellano will still play last-placed Mapua (4-13), while San Sebastian has Perpetual Help for its last elimination round game.
“Our focus is how to play better,” Napa said.
“Of course, we hope that the other results go our way, but we know we have to get the job done to stand a chance.”
The Knights are hoping to draw a better performance from Rey Nambatac, while hoping to continue getting a superb effort from Bong Quinto, who had 18 points and 10 rebounds against the Lions.
In the first game at 2 p.m., Emilio Aguinaldo College (6-11) and Perpetual Help (4-12) clash in a battle of teams already out of contention.
The Generals are looking to finish the season on a high note, after fading in the second round, where they won just twice in eight games.
Despite getting MVP-like numbers from Prince Eze, the Altas are poised to finish with their lowest win total in five seasons.