Knights get final chance
THE Letran Knights will have one final chance to gain a decisive edge and avoid getting embroiled in a complicated Final Four scenario in the 91st National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament.
The Knights will grab a twice-to-beat advantage with a victory over the University of Perpetual Help when action resumes at The Arena in San Juan City at 4 p.m. today.
The Knights blew their first chance when they bowed to the San Beda Lions, 73-77, last Tuesday.
The setback dropped the Knights from the top of the standings, and into solo second with a 12-5 record. This put them behind the Red Lions, who finished the two-round eliminations with a 13-5 slate.
“You can expect us to give it all we got because we really want to make it to the Final Four and avoid any more complications,” said Letran coach Aldin Ayo.
For now, only the Red Lions are assured of a Final Four spot.
There are five teams which are gunning for semifinal incentives and playoff positioning.
In today’s tripleheader, Jose Rizal University will go up against against San Sebastian at 12 noon while Mapua battles Emilio Aguinaldo College at 2 p.m.
Many scenarios can happen at the end of the second round.
The most likely scenario that can happen is for JRU to beat the SSC Stags, Mapua to prevail over EAC and Letran to get past the Altas.
A stepladder playoff will ensue among three teams. Arellano and Mapua, two teams with the lower quotient, battle and the winner will meet JRU for the no. 4 position.
After that, the winner of the San Beda-Letran playoff will get the no. 1 spot.
Another scenario in the Final Four could happen depending on the result of the Perpetual Help-Letran game.
First, if the Altas win by a margin of 17 points or less the Knights will gain the no. 2 spot.
Arellano and Mapua begins the stepladder playoff with the winner facing JRU. From there, the winner will then take on Perpetual Help.
Second, if Perpetual Help wins by a margin of 19 to 21 points, the Altas will take the second spot.
Arellano and Mapua will play the first stepladder match, with the winner facing JRU. Letran will clash with the winner for the right to play the Altas.
“We have no choice but to beat to Letran,” said del Rosario, since the Altas have not missed the Final Four since he took over as coach three years ago.
Third, if Perpetual Help wins by 22 to 27 points, Letran will fall to the second stepladder match, and will play the winner of the Arellano-Mapua contest.
The winner confronts JRU for the right to play Perpetual Help.
Fourth, if Perpetual Help prevails by 29 points or more, Letran will be forced to play the first stepladder playoff against Arellano. From there the winner will battle Mapua. JRU is next, followed by Perpetual Help.