Pirates target No.4 vs Chiefs
MANILA, Philippines — Lyceum of the Philippine University tests Arellano U’s mettle today as the Pirates go for a fourth straight victory in the 94th NCAA senior basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The Pirates picked up three straight victories to kick off their title campaign, including an 88-56 romp of the Jose Rizal U Bombers last Friday while the Chiefs launched their title drive with a 75-69 overtime victory over the Emilio Aguinaldo Generals last Thursday.
That should make their 12 noon showdown doubly interesting although given their form and firepower, the Pirates are slightly favored to keep their win run going.
“We’ll try to treat our next games the same way we did in our first three, which is always to go hard for a win,” said LPU coach Topex Robinson, who swept the elimination round in 18 games last year before getting swept by San Beda in the finals.
Mike Nzeusseu, Jaycee Marcelino and CJ Perez have normed 17, 16.3 and 15.7 points, respectively, with the troika expected to sustain their charge against the Chiefs.
Though it has bucked the absence of top gun Kent Salado, out of the season due of an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury he sustained early in the year, one game doesn’t define Arellano’s strength.
Adrian Alban and Levi dela Cruz did take charge for the Chiefs against the Generals but the former still needed an extra period to get past an unfancied rival on home turf in the NCAA on Tour.
Interestingly, this will be Alban’s first game against LPU, his former team.
In other games, San Sebastian tangles with Jose Rizal U at 2 p.m. while three-peat seeking San Beda faces St. Benilde at 4 p.m.