Bombers and Knights go to war for share of top spot
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 03, 2015 08:10 AM
DEFENSIVE BATTLE. Only one between JRU's tight man-to-man and Letran's non-stop full-court press will go up into a share of first place at 2-0.
Games on Friday at the San Juan Arena
12PM – Lyceum vs Arellano
2PM – CSB vs Perpetual
4PM – Letran vs JRU
During their debuts in the 91st Season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Jose Rizal University thrashed last season’s runners-up while Colegio de San Juan de Letran suffocated and squeezed the life out of last season’s almost finishers.
These two teams that turned in stellar debuts duel for the right to get atop the leaderboard on Friday at the San Juan Arena.
The battle between the Heavy Bombers and the Knights cap-off the season’s first three-games-in-one-day offering at 4:00 PM.
JRU held last year’s best offense to 32 percent shooting while Cameroonian rookie Abdel Poutouochi made quite the first impression with 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Letran was no slouch on defense either as new coach Aldin Ayo ordered non-stop full-court pressure that forced 33 turnovers converted into 32 points.
Meanwhile, the University of Perpetual Help Altas look to take advantage of their own chance for a share of the top spot when they meet the rebound-seeking College of St. Benilde Blazers at 2:00 PM.
The Altas needed late-game heroics from reigning MVP Scottie Thompson the last time around and will look to avoid such predicament against a Blazer side determined to make a statement against them. CSB finished last season one win short of matching Perpetual and JRU’s fourth- and third-, respectively, seed records.
In the day’s other game at 12:00 PM, the Arellano University Chiefs aim to recover from a lackluster opening to their campaign against the upset-conscious Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates.
Jiovani Jalalon struggled with only four points and committed seven turnovers in Arellano’s season-opening loss. The rising point guard needs to play better especially against a surprisingly competitive Lyceum squad that had Perpetual on the ropes before Thompson’s late-game heroics.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.