Altas must hurdle Stags to stay alive
MANILA, Philippines - Perpetual Help goes up against San Sebastian today in a make-or-break game for a playoff for the last Final Four berth in the penultimate elims playdate of the NCAA men's basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
"It's a no-tomorrow contest for us," said Altas coach Aric del Rosario in Filipino.
Tied for fourth with Jose Rizal University at 10-7, Perpetual Help needs no less than a victory in its 6 p.m. clash with San Sebastian to stay in the semis race since the Bombers are tipped to get past ousted Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals in the 4 p.m. match.
A win by JRU coupled with a Perpetual loss will complete the semis cast among San Beda, San Sebastian and Letran. But victories by the Altas and the Bombers will assure them of a playoff for the fourth and last Final Four slot.
Against the Stags, the Altas will be facing a team raring to nail their 12th win for the No. 2 spot and the coveted twice-to-beat edge in the semis.
"The team's goals are to make the Final Four and finishing at least in the top two and we hope to achieve both," said SSC interim coach Allan Trinidad.
SSC clobbered Perpetual, 80-65, in their first round faceoff but the Las Piñas-based cagers are going all-out to stop the fancied Stags and fuel their semis drive.
Unlike Perpetual, Jose Rizal U should encounter little problem with EAC although the Generals are no pushovers and could spring a surprise in a bid to spoil the Bombers' semis bid.
JRU came through with a crucial 82-84 victory over San Sebastian last week as it bounced back into contention after a faltering start in the second round elims.
"We all know it's hard to play a team that has nothing to lose and everything to gain so we have to watch out and not to be overconfident," said JRU coach Vergel Meneses.