Blazers, Red Lions clash for a chance to secure twice-to-beat edge

SAN BEDA Red Lions — NCAA/SYNERGY-GMA

Games Tuesday(Filoil EcoOil Centre)12 p.m. — EAC vs AU3 p.m. — CSB vs San Beda

COLLEGE of St. Benilde (CSB)  and San Beda clash for a chance to snare a place in the top two and the accompanying twice-to-beat Final Four advantage today in NCAA Season 98 at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

The Blazers dumped the Arellano University (AU) Chiefs, 83-73, Sunday that catapulted them back to the top alongside the three-peat-seeking Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights on identical 13-4 records.

And another win by the Blazers in their 3 p.m. showdown with the Red Lions would assure them of that important semis incentive while tagging along the Knights for the ride.

If it happens, it will push CSB, which will make the Final Four for the first time in two decades, closer to a first finals appearance since making it that far eventually winning it all in 2000.

“We’re really gunning for that incentive to give us a bigger chance of making the finals,” said CSB coach Charles Tiu.

The Red Lions, currently at No. 3 with a 12-5 mark, for their part, are still in the hunt for a top two finish in the eliminations if they could snatch this one against the same squad that handed them a 78-69 first-round beating on Oct. 9.

Should this be consummated, San Beda could force at least a playoff duel with either one between Blazers and Knigths, which could still drop if it losses its last game to an already-ran Jose Rizal University on Thursday.

Mr. Tiu said he expects to grind it out with a powerhouse team like San Beda.

“They’re a great team, one of the best defensive teams in the league and also the second best offensive team so their balance is great,” said Mr. Tiu. “It will be a tough game because they’re deep and talented, plus they’re peaking at the right time.”

Meanwhile, Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) (2-15) and Arellano University battle it out in a non-bearing encounter at 12 p.m. — Joey Villar