Red Lions try to keep hold on No. 1 spot
MANILA, Philippines -- San Beda College will try to keep its No. 1 spot as it clashes with Letran, while Perpetual Help guns for a share of third place with Jose Rizal University as it tackles College of St. Benilde on Wednesday in the 90th NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Lions tangle with the Knights at 4 p.m. in a rematch of last year's finalists, while the Altas collide with the Blazers at 2 p.m.
The reigning four-peat champion, currently with a 7-1(win-loss record, will keep the No. 1 spot with a win but a loss will result in a tie with idle Arellano University at 7-2.
Perpetual Help, for its part, is presently at fourth place with a 5-3 slate and a victory will push it to joint third with Jose Rizal (6-3).
San Beda will face a Letran team hoping to wake up from a slump, following an atrocious 2-6 start, which is good for second to last.
Lions coach Boyet Fernandez, however, still expects a tough battle.
"It's always a tough game whenever we play Letran regardless of records," said Fernandez, whose charges are coming off a 77-75 win over Perpetual Help last week.
Meanwhile, the Altas are expected to ride the momentum of Juneric Baloria's spectacular performance against the Knights last Saturday, when he exploded for a season-high 32 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter that sealed their 85-82 win.
But Baloria expects to be a marked man against the Blazers.
"I will just have to make some adjustments during the game," said the 24-year-old Baloria, who is trying his luck in the pros this year.
The Blazers, who blew what could have been a victory against the Chiefs, 67-66, last Friday -- their fourth defeat against the same number of wins -- will also have to watch out for the Altas' three-point shooting after its 14 triples against Letran.