Letran vs San Beda in do-or-die D-League semis clash


LONG-TIME collegiate rivals Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda and Wangs Basketball @27 Strikers-Letran go at it once more in a sudden death Game 3 of the Philippine Basketball Association D-League Aspirants’ Cup semifinals Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena.

Game time is 3 p.m. with the Red Lions and the Knights disputing the last finals seat on the line that will send the winner to a title duel against reigning champion EcoOil-La Salle.

The best-of-three finale will be next week.

They split their first two battles with San Beda forcing the deciding match with a 74-51 win in Game 2 Tuesday.

“I’m sure coach Rensy (Bajar) will adjust. It’ a do-or-die Game 3,” San Beda coach Yuri Escueta said. “They’ll be ready and we have to be ready for it. We have to show much more effort than Letran.”

Behind a balanced attack led by Peter Alfaro and Jacob Cortez, San Beda practically dominated Game 2 to more than atone for its disappointing meltdown in the series opener. 

The Red Lions blew an early 24-point lead in Game 1 and went on to surrender the match to the Knights, 93-87, in overtime.

The eliminations No. 1 Red Lions are not expecting Game 3 to be a walk in the park. Instead,a they are prepared for a tough grind against the three-time reigning National Collegiate Athletic Association champion Knights.

“It’s a test of character for us. We know we can bounce back as long as we play within our system. It will be an exciting game,” said Bajar, who’s counting on top gun Kurt Reyson to regain his bearing after managing just eight points in Game 2.

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