MANILA, Philippines -- Perpetual Help and College of St. Benilde will tackle dangerous Letran and Lyceum, respectively, on Wednesday in the 90th NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
Currently in a three-way tie with the idle Jose Rizal Bombers at No. 3 with 6-4 win-loss records, the Altas will do battle against the resurgent Knights at 2 p.m. while the Blazers will clash with the Pirates at 4 p.m.
Perpetual Help is coming off a 65-60 victory over Lyceum last Saturday, while Benilde turned back Emilio Aguinaldo, 83-77, last Friday. A victory on Wednesday will keep them inside the magic four, while boosting their bids in the tightly fought Final Four race.
The Altas won over the Knights, 85-82, last August 8 and the Blazers over the Pirates, 86-77, on August 2 during the first round.
Coaches Aric del Rosario of Perpetual Help and Gabby Velasco of St. Benilde both agree that it will be an uphill battle this time.
"Letran is a more dangerous team now," Del Rosario said in Filipino.
"Lyceum always play rough and physical so we have to be ready and be mentally and physically prepared against their play," said Velasco.
Perpetual Help's Harold Arboleda and Juneric Baloria and Benilde's Juan Paolo Taha and Mark Romero are expected to show their wares after the four were drafted in the PBA rookie draft over the weekend.
Arboleda was tabbed by Talk N' Text in the second round and Baloria by Blackwater Elite in the third, while Taha and Romero were picked by Kia Motors in the third round.