MANILA, Philippines -– San Beda and Arellano will seek to keep their stranglehold on the lead as they tackle San Sebastian and Mapua, respectively, in the NCAA Season 90 men's basketball tournament Monday at the Arena in San Juan.
The Lions turned back the Mapua Cardinals, 74-69, and the Chiefs outlasted the luckless Stags, 101-98, last Wednesday to remain at joint first place with identical 8-2 win-loss records.
San Beda and Arellano will switch foes this time around with the four-peat champion Red Lions battling San Sebastian at 2 p.m. and the Chiefs playing Mapua at 4 p.m.
The Red Lions routed the Stags, 75-56, when they first met last August 1, although San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez expects a tougher game this time around.
"San Sebastian played well in its last game but lost a heartbreaker, and it is tough to play that kind of team fresh from that experience," said Fernandez.
Arellano coach Jerry Codinera, who survived their first meeting with Mapua, 68-63, observed that the Cardinals are improving every game.
"Their win-loss record is deceiving, but if you look at Mapua's recent games, they're really getting dangerous," said Codinera.
San Sebastian has a 3-7 record, while Mapua has a league-worst 1-9 slate.