MANILA, Philippines - San Sebastian guns for the solo lead while Perpetual shoots for its seventh win today as they take on Mapua and Arellano U, respectively, in the 88th NCAA men's basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Stags seek to come out of a two-way tie with reigning champion San Beda at the helm on 6-1 (win-loss) records with a victory in their 6 p.m encounter with the struggling Cardinals, who have dropped five of their first seven games.
Ian Sangalang is expected to be back in action after tests on his busted knee showed only a minor strain, but Stags coach Topex Robinson is still undecided if he’ll already give his ace center his usual heavy minutes.
"I'm still weighing my options, whether to start him or not. But for sure, he will play because his knee injury is just a strain," said Robinson.
The Altas, for their part, are tied with the Jose Rizal Bombers at third spot on identical 6-2 records, and a triumph in their 4 p.m. showdown with the Chiefs (2-5), would get them closer to their goal for the first half of the tourney.
"Our target is to finish the first round with seven wins and we're on track of accomplishing it," said Perpetual coach Aric del Rosario in Filipino.
The Las Piñas-based cagers are coming off a come-from-behind 72-71 win over Emilio Aguinaldo last July 28 , courtesy of team captain Jett Vidal's clutch shooting.
Vidal, who finished with a team-high 17 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter capped by the game-winning triple, hopes to ride on that sterling effort.
"I hope I can play like that again in our next game," said Vidal.