MANILA, Philippines - San Sebastian seeks to formalize its stint in the Final Four while Jose Rizal U tries to stave off elimination as they collide today in a crucial match in the NCAA men's basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Stags shoot for win No. 12 against four losses as they try to join the San Beda Red Lions in the next round but the Bombers are also going all-out for a key victory after dropping to No. 5 with a 9-7 (win-loss) slate.
Gametime is at 6 p.m.
A surging Letran and a steady Perpetual Help share third spots with 10-6 cards.
The Knights foiled the Stags’ first crack at the semis with an 82-67 win last Sept. 15 but the latter are raring to get the job done this time.
"We'll try again and hope we could do it right this time," said San Sebastian coach Allan Trinidad.
The Stags are aiming for No. 2 and a twice-to-beat edge in the semis with San Beda clinching the top spot with a 14-2 mark.
But expect the Bombers to go for the win at all costs as they try to salvage a playoff for the last semis seat with a sweep of their last two games in the double-round elims.
"We have no choice but win all our remaining games," said Jose Rizal mentor Vergel Meneses.
JRU, however, will be playing minus dengue-stricken Alex Almario.
Without their chief playmaker, the Bombers struggled the last few weeks, dropping four of their last five games, including a 59-70 defeat to the Knights last Saturday.
Meanwhile, Arellano U (5-10) and Lyceum (3-13) battle each other in a non-bearing game at 4 p.m.