MANILA, Philippines – Arellano University will try to hold on to solo second place when it clashes with a dangerous Letran squad Monday in the NCAA Season 90 men's basketball tournament at the Arena in San Juan.
The Chiefs are looking to bounce back from their heart-breaking 99-98 triple overtime defeat against Jose Rizal University last Friday with a win over the Knights in their 2 p.m. encounter.
It was a loss that deprived Arellano of a chance to share the lead with four-peat champion San Beda, which currently totes a 6-1 win loss record. The Chiefs are at 5-2.
Another setback will push the Chiefs down to third and allow Perpetual Help (4-2) to jump from No. 3 to No. 2.
Arellano coach Jerry Codinera said his players need to learn how to finish game after blowing a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of regulation and a six-point advantage in the first overtime.
"We had several opportunities to put the game away, but we just couldn't take advantage of it," he said. "But every game is a learning experience for us, and we hope we learned from that particular game."
Arellano will tackle a Letran team that is coming off a close 63-61 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) last Wednesday, which gave last season's losing finalists their second win against four losses.
"It's always hard to play a team coming off a victory because of the confidence they gained from it," said Codinera.
EAC (1-5) and Mapua (1-6) collide in the other game at 4 p.m. in a duel between the league's cellar-dwellers.