By Jerome Lagunzad
(Olivarez College gym)
12 noon – UB vs BulSU
2 p.m. – CdSL vs TIP
Colegio de San Lorenzo guns for the second and last Final Four bonus while Technological Institute of the Philippines fights for dear life as they square off today in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Season 2.
Tip off is at 2 p.m. inside the Olivarez College gym in Sucat, Parañaque City, with the Griffins out to sustain their winning run and repeat an 80-67 win last Sept. 21 over an Engineers side raring to pump life to their flickering semis hopes.
Colegio de San Lorenzo, eager to gain a share of the lead with idle defending champion Centro Escolar University, should come in at its razor-sharp form but is wary of fatigue at the same time since it will be playing for the third time in a week’s span.
Griffins coach Boni Garcia, however, is confident his wards can pick up from where they left off despite missing the services of ace big man Jon Gabriel, who is already preparing himself for this year’s PBA Rookie Draft proceedings on Sunday.
“The guys have shown that they are capable of winning even without Jon so I’m expecting them to have that same mentality against TIP. We cannot let up since we’re aiming to have a better position into the next round,” said Garcia.
While the Griffins are already assured of their semis seat, the Engineers are facing a daunting task of achieving such since they will need to sweep their last four games while hoping the Diliman College Blue Dragons, holding the fourth and final spot, won’t win from hereon.
“We don’t have full control of our fate but I keep on telling my boys to continue playing and keep on fighting for our survival,” said TIP coach Potit de Vera. “We’ll just give our best and hope for the best possible outcome at the same time.”
Clashing in a no-bearing encounter in the 12 noon opener are eliminated squads Bulacan State University and the University of Batangas.
The Gold Gears, fresh from more than two weeks of respite, are determined to end a seven-game losing streak while the Brahmans are hoping to do such on their four-game freefall.