St. Benilde aims to sustain perfect start in NCAA



The Manila Times


DE LA SALLE-College of Saint Benilde looks to extend its unbeaten start as it faces defending champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran today, September 23, in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 98 men’s basketball tournament at the FilOil EcoOil Centre. Tip-off is at 12 noon. The Blazers decimated the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Altas, 81-64, last Tuesday to remain on top of the standings with a 3-0 win-loss card. Despite the strong start, Saint Benilde head coach Charles Tiu is not celebrating. He is aware that the season has just begun and the Blazers have the tendency to fade away towards the final stretch. Saint Benilde last made the semifinals of the oldest collegiate basketball league in the country 20 years ago (2002). “It’s only been three games. We haven’t played Letran, Mapua, San Beda — the teams that I said are consistently contending in the Final Four. It’s still a long way to go for us,” said Tiu. Today, the Blazers’ mettle will surely be tested as they face the three-peat seeking Knights who are determined to bounce back after losing a tough one against the Arellano University Chiefs, 72-69, last Sunday. The defeat snapped Letran’s 14game winning run dating back to Game Three of the Season 95 Finals against archrival San Beda University. “I wish they (Knights) had won their last game because Letran’s probably mad right now so it’s going to be tough for us. I hope we can give them a losing streak,” said Tiu. “They haven’t lost a game in two or three years. They are tough, they always play physical and they’re the defending champs for a reason so it’s gonna be a hard game. Hopefully, it should be a good quest for our team to see where we really stand,” added Tiu. Meanwhile, the Perpetual Help Altas and the Mapua University Cardinals clash in the second game at 3 p.m. Both teams are in a slump having lost back-to-back games. Today, one of them will end the drought.