Crucial Friday for five teams still in pursuit of Final Four

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 18, 2015 12:43 AM
Crucial Friday for five teams still in pursuit of Final Four
BIG DAY FRIDAY. The elder two from the three Intramuros teams will be featured in a crucial gameday.

Games on Friday at the San Juan Arena

12:00 PM – Perpetual (9-4) vs CSB (3-11)

2:00 PM – Arellano (10-4) vs Mapua (9-5)

4:00 PM – JRU (8-6) vs Letran (11-3)

All but one of the six teams still in contention for the next round in the 91st Season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will be featured in a crucial Friday slate at the San Juan Arena.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s hold on the league lead is in peril against resurgent Jose Rizal University at 4:00 PM even as Arellano University and Mapua Institute of Technology stake their three and five-game winning streaks, respectively, against each other at 2:00 PM.

All of the action will be broadcast LIVE on ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23 as well as streamed LIVE on sports.abs-cbn.com.

The Knights got off to a rough start now in the toughest part of their schedule  as they were outmuscled by Mapua in their most recent outing. The erstwhile league-leaders’ lack of size finally caught up with them, but a core of Mark Cruz, Rey Nambatac, and Kevin Racal remains as good a bet as any to lead their team to become first to 12 wins.

Abdel Poutouochi stands notches below Allwell Oraeme, but still presents a formidable interior presence with the capability to outmuscle Letran’s lacking frontline. With Teytey Teodoro and Paolo Pontejos taking care of the perimeter, the Heavy Bombers are confident they can keep in pace in the playoff race by adding to their 8-6 record.

Meanwhile, everyone is expecting a shootout between the top two offenses in the league. More than their explosive offense, however, the Cardinals and the Chiefs own the two longest active winning streaks courtesy of their respective MVP candidates.

Statistical leader Oraeme has put Mapua on his back with the injury woes of top gunner Josan Nimes and the disciplinary troubles of head coach Atoy Co. In the same light, with reigning Rookie of the Year Dioncee Holts only re-emerging recently, it has been Jiovani Jalalon who has driven NCAA upstart Arellano all the way into proving their contention.

Starting off the crucial Friday slate at 12:00 PM, University of Perpetual Help seeks to hold on to their spot inside the top four at the expense of already eliminated College of St. Benilde.

Scottie Thompson and Bright Akhuetie have powered the Altas to a 9-4 card, but remain threatened with two squads still breathing behind their necks. On the other hand, Jonathan Grey and the Blazers have nothing to fight for other than their newfound goal of playing spoiler.

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