Tuesday, 9 August 2011

NCAA: Red Lions, Stags try to stay perfect before ‘duel’

Posted by chardyboy on Tuesday, August 09, 2011 0 comments

source: inquirer.net

MANILA—San Beda and San Sebastian look to stretch their winning runs to eight games when they tangle with separate rivals today in the 87th NCAA basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Toting a perfect 7-0 record like the Stags, the Lions face the struggling Jose Rizal U Bombers at 4 p.m., after San Sebastian takes on Mapua.
Final Four participants last season, both Mapua and JRU have struggled to find their rhythm this season. Both teams own 2-5 records.
San Sebastian coach Topex Robinson has warned his team not to be fooled by the Cardinals’ record.
“Mapua is a top contender,” said Robinson. “They may have started bad, but they are pretty good team. They dominated the summer leagues and (Yousef) Taha is one of the best big men in the league.”
Today’s games will be San Beda and San Sebastian’s last warm-up before their keenly-awaited duel on Aug. 19 which will mark their first meeting since last year’s finals. The Lions swept the Stags in two games last season.
San Beda will be one man short for today’s match as power forward Jake Pascual will sit out the match because of a one-game suspension slapped by commissioner Aric del Rosario.
Pascual’s flagrant foul 1 on Mapua’s Yousef Taha in the Lions’ 74-68 win over the Cardinals was upgraded, meriting a ban.
The Lions, though, can take relief at the thought that the Bombers don’t have a frontline as big as that of the Cardinals, who gave them problems with their size and quickness.
Dave Marcelo, coming off his best game this season with 13 points and 12 rebounds, provides the Lions of a solid defensive presence.
Coach Frankie Lim is also hoping Garvo Lanete stays consistent. The guard from Zamboanga has been averaging 22 points in the past four games for the Lions, who will also be looking to extend their league-best streak of 25 games in a run that dates back to last season.
The Stags will have their hands full against the Cardinals, who boast of versatile big men and an explosive guard in Allan Mangahas.
The 5-foot-11 Mangahas almost single-handedly carried the Cardinals past the Lions last Wednesday.
San Sebastian, however, has a “Big Three,” which has shouldered most of the scoring load for the Stags this season.
Ronald Pascual, Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang combined for 71 points in the 92-79 triumph over Arellano last Monday.
Robinson, though, wants the Stags to improve on the defensive end.
“It’s a given that we could play offense,” said Robinson. “What bothers me is our defense coming into the last two games. There’s really a lack of effort.”


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