By John Eric Mendoza
College of Saint Benilde guns for a share of lead when it collides with Arellano University in Season 95 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Action fires off at 4 p.m. with the Blazers gunning for their fifth straight win against the Chiefs, who are looking for an important win that would propel them out of the cellar.
Also looking to get out of the hole are Emilio Aguinaldo College and Mapua University when they collide in the 2 p.m. game for a chance to get a second victory in the country’s oldest collegiate basketball tournament.
After notching a 77-72 win over San Sebastian College last week, the Blazers are marching with sky-high morale as they are enjoying their finest start since joining the league in 1998.
A victory over the Chiefs will put the Blazers in a tie with idle San Beda University on top of the team standings.
Actually, the Blazers had a chance to test their mettle against powerhouse San Beda and Letran College last week, but their games were rescheduled due to inclement weather.
It, however, becomes a blessing in disguise as it allowed St. Benilde’s chief gunner in Justin Gutang to recover from a left knee injury.
“We’re still trying to make sure that everything is clear before he comes back,” Blazers’ coach TY Tang said.
With Gutang still doubtful, Tang is tipped to pin his hopes on Yankie Haruna, who is making a return after suffering a broken jaw that sidelined him for six weeks.
Tang said they remain a work in progress and talks about a possible appearance in the finals are still premature.
“I don’t wanna talk about us being a fluke or us being contenders right now. We learned our lesson last season that we should focus one game at a time,” said Tang, who is bracing for a collision with the Red Lions on 23 August.
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