San Beda battles Adamson; La Salle faces Lyceum
It’s down to the last four teams in the Filoil Preseason Cup.
Reigning NCAA champion San Beda and league rival Lyceum try to forge yet another championship showdown when they face off against separate opponents in the semifinals on Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre.
But Lyceum will have a major handicap when it goes up against La Salle, which rode a blazing fourth quarter to dismantle Letran in the quarterfinals.
The Pirates, who outlasted Centro Escolar University in the quarters, will be missing starting center Mike Nzeusseu, who is out for the next two weeks with a hand injury. Backup center Jerwin Guinto and guard Jaycee Marcelino, one-half of the spitfire Marcelino twins, are also doubtful due to injuries.
Guinto was injured prior to the quarterfinals while Marcelino suffered a broken nose after getting entangled with CEU center Maodo Malick Diouf.
“We will be up against a veteran team in Lyceum,” La Salle coach Gian Nazario said. “Whether they are missing players or not, they know their system well and they are fighters. It will be a test for us and for them as well.”
The Red Lions, the sole unbeaten team in the competition, go up against dangerous Adamson University at 4 p.m.
San Beda has won eight straight games going into the semifinal showdown and will be led by the likes of Evan Nelle, James Kwekuteye and Donald Tankoua.
Adamson, which owns a 6-2 record going into the semifinals, will count on a mix of veterans in Jerrick Ahanmisi, Simon Camacho and Christian Bernardo as well as sophomore Jerom Lastimosa and rookies Lenda Dounga, Joem Sabandal, Aaron Fermin and AP Manlapaz.
“Being in the semifinals is good preparation for us with the NCAA season coming up,” said Red Lions coach Boyet Fernandez, who is raring to win the crown after losing to Ateneo in last year’s preseason finals. “Every time you go up against a Franz Pumaren-coached team, you know they will be tough on both ends of the court.”
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