Red Lions, SSC Stags clash in game of death
SAN Beda College battles San Sebastian College in you-or-me, death duel that will determine the opponent of the rampaging Lyceum of the Philippines University in the 93rd NCAA basketball tournament at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
Gametime is set at 3:30 p.m.
The Lions will be fighting off rust after a 19-day break, while the Stags should be riding the momentum of their pair of huge playoff victories over the Letran Knights, 74-69, on Oct. 20 and the Jose Rizal Bombers, 85-73, on Oct. 24.
The winner of the duel will set up a best-of-three title duel with the Pirates, who swept their 18 elimination-round games to zoom straight to the finals.
Expect a physical and low-scoring game as the two teams will be bringing along their league-best defense.
San Beda owns the stingiest defense in the league after it held down its opponents to an average of 65.8 points, while San Sebastian is not that far behind as it shackled its foes to a third-best 70.2.
“We all know San Beda plays really hard defense, same with us,” said San Sebastian College coach Egay Macaraya.
Emotions should also run high between the two squads as San Beda mentor Boyet Fernandez once called out San Sebastian’s Michael Calisaan for his “dirty plays,” a statement that didn’t sit well with Macaraya.
Calisaan has been on a rampage since then.
Macaraya and Fernandez though would like to focus on the present.
“I have no problems with him (Fernandez), I’m just defending my player (Calisaan),” said Macaraya.
“We would like to focus on the game and give more concern on how we could preserve our tradition at San Beda,” said Fernandez.
The tradition Fernandez is referring to dates back to 2006 when it made the finals 11 straight seasons, winning nine championships along the way.
The only year that the Lions didn’t bring home the crown came in 2009 when the “Pinatubo Three” of Calvin Abueva, Ian Sangalang and Ronald Pascual gave the Stags the championship and in 2015 when Aldin Ayo’s over-achieving Knights reigned supreme.
And Fernandez hopes there would be Finals No. 12.
“That’s our hope,” he said.
(MOA Arena, Pasay)
1 p.m.- San Beda vs St. Benilde (jrs)
3:30 p.m.- San Beda vs
San Sebastian (srs)