Defending champion Letran seeks to move closer to a nine-game, elimination-round sweep as it takes on San Sebastian Tuesday in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the La Salle Greenhills Gym.
The only undefeated team in the season at 7-0, the Knights take on the Stags at 3 p.m. clash with an eye on a berth to the Final Four.
Coming off a 14-point loss to Mapua, San Beda tries to rediscover its winning ways as it plays College of Saint Benilde in a game which has major implications for the other outright Final Four berth at 12 noon.
The Red Lions are running second with a 6-1 card, just half a game ahead of the Cardinals, who are sporting a 6-2 record in third place.
With a 5-3 slate in fourth spot, the Blazers’ chances of making it to the Final Four outright is not entirely in their hands.
A loss will drop CSB to the play-in stage, which will determine the other two Final Four qualifiers.
As the league used a different tournament format for this shortened season, there will be no outright Finals’ berth for Letran even if it wins its last two games, including this Friday’s rivalry game against San Beda.
The best incentive the Knights will get if they finish in the top two after the eliminations is a twice-to-beat bonus in the Final Four, which is set on May 8 right after the play-in stage.
Letran continued to stamp its class following last Saturday’s 81-59 rout of Jose Rizal University.
The Lions saw their six-game winning streak snapped by the Cardinals, 54-68, blowing a major opportunity to gain an outright passage to the Final Four.
San Beda cannot afford to drop games if it wants to fend off Mapua, which will face Lyceum of the Philippines University Wednesday, in the chase for the coveted No. 2 ranking in the Final Four.
San Sebastian is locked in a four-way tie in fifth place at 3-5 with University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, Arellano University and Emilio Aguinaldo College.
Pulling off a reversal against the Knights will not guarantee the Stags of a spot in the play-in, as their fate will depend on the results of final two elimination round playdates.