(Filoil EcoOil Centre)
12 p.m. — CSB vs Letran
3 p.m. — UPHSD vs Mapua
BOASTING of a perfect record, these extraordinary gentlemen from College of St. Benilde (CSB) is being hailed early as the title favorites in the ongoing NCAA Season 98 basketball wars.
But CSB coach Charles Tiu was quick to brush aside this notion, saying that the one true test to become a legitimate contender is slaying the one that conquered them all a season ago — Letran.
“I don’t think so. We’ve only won three games,” said Mr. Tiu, whose Blazers battle the three-peat feat-seeking Knights at 12 p.m. today in what many believed could be a sneak title preview this season.
“We aren’t favorites by any means. We’ve only won a few games. Doesn’t mean too much yet. We just want to improve every game,” he added.
The much-anticipated clash of the league titans may lose some of its luster though as Mr. Tiu told The STAR they would not be in full strength versus Letran.
“It will be tough against Letran. We won’t be complete tomorrow (today) but we will do our best,” said Mr. Tiu, who refused to name who and how many players won’t see action.
CSB, out to claim its first Final Four slot in two decades and a second title after winning it all 22 years back, was electric in its start as it has hammered out two one-sided wins — the first one at the expense of Lyceum of the Philippines University, 86-69, last Sept. 11 and the other an 81-64 rout of University of Perpetual Help Tuesday.
It could have been three blowouts had the Blazers not blown a 26-point lead to the San Sebastian Stags that ended in a 100-94 win last week.
In contrast, the Letran Knights bled against the Jose Rizal U Bombers before escaping with a 101-97 overtime win and were ambushed by the Arellano U Chiefs, 72-69, Sunday to fall to 1-1.
And the back-to-back titlist can’t afford to lose this one against CSB.
In the other game, UPHSD (1-2) and Mapua (1-2) face off at 3 p.m. — Joey Villar