Perfect Lions seek to extend streak to 10
San Beda Red remains uneasy despite the comfort of a first-round sweep in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament.
That was quite evident during the defending champions’ previous outing against Mapua where the Cardinals stayed close enough throughout for a chance to steal the game in the end.
“You really have to prepare every game—not underestimate any team,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez after the Lions pulled off a 69-60 triumph over the Cardinals four days ago.
Facing the lowest-ranked Emilio Aguinaldo College at 12 noon on Tuesday at FilOil Flying V Centre, Fernandez said they cannot afford to play complacent as they start their second-round campaign.
“That game against Mapua is a clear wake-up call for everyone, especially my players. This season will not be an easy one for us,” said Fernandez.
“I always remind my players that we are not an invincible team,” he added.
In the other games, Lyceum and Letran shoot to keep their winning records going opposite separate rivals and break out of a four-way logjam for second spot.
The Pirates, last season’s runners-up, will tangle the with Arellano Chiefs (2-7) at 2 p.m. while the Knights, coming off a convincing triumph over the Blazers, are bound to meet the Jose Rizal Heavy Bombers (3-6) at 4 p.m.
Calvin Oftana carried much of the load for the Lions, who weathered several comebacks by the Cardinals on the heroics of Noah Lugo and Paolo Hernandez, last season’s junior Finals MVP.
The Generals lost all except one of their first-round assignments, but majority of those setbacks could have gone either way.
Shooters Marwin Taywan and Jethro Mendoza always have something up their sleeves while rugged forward John Paul Maguliano, though hounded by inconsistency, could potentially turn things around for the Generals.
Jerrick Balanza, who celebrated his 23rd birthday with a 26-point explosion on 8-of-13 shooting in just 23 minutes, is again expected to play a critical role for the Knights like Bonbon Batiller and big men Larry Muyang, Ato Ular and Jeo Ambohot.
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