JRU, Letran clash in crucial match as Final Four race heats up in NCAA Season 93
JRU coach Vergel Meneses and Letran mentor Jeff Napa are both aware their clash is crucial for their respective Final Four bids. Jerome Ascano

JOSE Rizal University and Letran will clash in an all-important match as the race for a Final Four spot heats up in the NCAA Season 93 on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Center.

Both teams are coming off heartbreaking overtime losses the last time out, allowing the rest of the pack to catch up on them in the standings.

The Heavy Bombers still sit at third place with a 6-4 record but their 115-109 defeat to the Arellano Chiefs derailed their chances of padding that lead even further.

The Knights, fresh off an 88-82 defeat at the hands of the Perpetual Altas on the same game day, now share the fourth and fifth spot with the San Sebastian Stags which also totes a 5-5 record.

Despite the loss, Letran head coach Jeff Napa remains optimistic about their chances but he knows that this is a game that they can’t afford to drop.

“We’ll still be fine but we have to beat JRU,” Napa said in a short chat with reporters after the loss.

“Pag natalo namin ang JRU, okay na ulit kami,” he added.

Meneses, on the other hand, was left disappointed with the turnout of the match especially since he felt they failed to get some breaks late in a match which saw Tey Teodoro’s heroics go down the drain.

But past is past now and Meneses hopes for a big rebound win over the Knights.

“There were some breaks late in the game that didn’t go our way,” said Meneses.

“We should move on because this is a long tournament and we couldn’t afford to dwell much on the past,” he added.

Speaking of the tight race for a Final Four spot, Emilio Aguinaldo College will also look to keep in step with the two squads as it takes on the cellar-dwelling Mapua at 4 p.m.

The Generals, 4-6, are currently on a three way log-jam from sixth to eighth with the Altas and the Chiefs and a win here would move them closer to their goal of breaking into the final four.

The Cardinals, on the other hand, will look to hold on to anything at this point as they have lost 10 straight games after winning their opener against the Knights.  

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