JRU head coach Vergel Meneses signals a play to his players. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Perpetual Help and Jose Rizal University (JRU) will clash on Friday for solo third place and a chance to move closer to the league-leading San Beda Red Lions and Arellano Chiefs in the NCAA Season 90 men's basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Altas routed the Chiefs, 101-86, while the Bombers crushed the Lyceum Pirates, 67-43, last Monday to share the third spot with identical 8-4 win-loss slates.
The winner in their 4 p.m. showdown will take sole possession of the third spot, just half a game behind Arellano (9-2). San Beda is currently on top of the league standings with a 10-2 win-loss record.
The last time the Altas and the Bombers faced off, JRU ended up snatching a 62-61 win.
Dave Sanchez was the hero in that game last July 23, following up on a missed three-pointer by Philip Paniamogan for the game-winner.
Perpetual Help coach Aric del Rosario said they are out to make up for that loss.
"It was a heartbreaking loss because we were one defensive stop away from winning it," said Del Rosario in Filipino.
For JRU mentor Vergel Meneses, it will defense that will carry his team through.
"We're coming off one of our best defensive efforts," said Meneses, whose players held Lyceum to a season-worst 43 points in their last game.
"Hopefully, we can bring that kind of defensive intensity against a strong offensive team like Perpetual."
In another game, Lyceum (5-7) shoots to breathe some life to its dying Final Four hopes as it tackles league-worst Mapua (2-10) at 2 p.m.