The San Beda Red Lions battle the Letran Knights in the deciding Game 3 of the 95th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball finals 4 p.m., today at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Earlier, the San Beda Red Cubs and Lyceum Junior Pirates play a do-or-die clash for the junior division crown at 1 p.m.
The Red Lions will try to start strong again to gain an early advantage. Taking a sizeable lead very early in the game may help the defending champion
Their title series is now tied at 1-all after the Red Lions ruled Game 2 with a 79-76 win over the Knights.
“We really have to start really strong. And we have been changing our matchups. We studied them in Game 1. They have different starters and rotations,” said Red Lions coach Boyet Fernandez.
This time, Knights coach Bonnie Tan could keep Fernandez guessing on who will be his starters, which were different in Game 1 and 2.
Endurance will be the key this time when the Knights try to pull off another win against the Red Lions.
The sudden absence of point guard Fran Yu due to cramps in the last four minutes of game somehow ruined Letran’s rotation the last time around.
“Breaks of the game. Bawi na lang sa Tuesday” said Letran head coach Bonnie Tan.
Forward Calvin Oftana, who was hailed as the season MVP, shot 17 points with Clint Doliguez, and put the Red Lions in front for the last time, 77-76, with his three-point play off Edson Batiller’s fifth foul.
“Tiwala na lang sa plays ni coach. Kasi, sa Game 1, wala talaga. Kanya-kanya kami. Di namin sinunod yun (game plan),” said Oftana.
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