Philippines – The 88th NCAA basketball tournament will hold its second out-of-town tournament tomorrow at the Subic Bay Freeport to reach out to its provincial audiences.
The doubleheader pits leagueleading and titleholder San Beda against Mapua at 4 p.m., and darkhorse University of Perpetual Help over Lyceum at 6 p.m.
The Red Lions, toting a 13-2 record, aim to cement their hold for the top spot after getting the twice-to-beat incentive in their last game, while the Cardinals try to breathe life in their slim semifinal chance at 6-9.
The Altas, who hold a 9-6 slate, seek to join the Letran Knights at third place while the eliminated Pirates (3-12) just want to end the season on a bright note.
The first out-of-town matches this season were held in Sta. Cruz, Laguna last July 25 where Letran squeaked past Emilio Aguinaldo College, 65-62, and College of St. Benilde outlasted Arellano University, 80-73, in overtime before a roaring crowd.
Meanwhile, Letran bested Jose Rizal University, 70-59, Saturday night to fortify its Final Four campaign by grabbing the solo third place at 10-6.
The Knights leaned on a big third-quarter run where they outscored the Bombers, 20-12, to regain the upperhand at 53-48 from a 33-36 halftime deﬁ cit.
It was Letran’s fourth straight win and sixth victory in the last seven games.
Kevin Alas spearheaded the Intramuros-based cagers with 17 points, six rebounds, six assists and six steals, while Jam Cortes scored 16 markers and collared 10 boards.
The defeat sent JRU at fifth place with a 9-7 mark behind fourth-running Perpetual.
“It’s all about poise and patience. Yun talaga ang palagi naming ini-instill sa past games namin whatever the situation we are facing,” said Letran coach Louie Alas. (Kristel Satumbaga)