DEFENDING champion Centro Escolar University looks to tighten its grip on the solo lead when it battles slumping Diliman College on Thursday in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League Season 2 at the Olivarez College gym in Parañaque City.
The Scorpions are looking to secure a top 2 spot and a twice-to-beat advantages in the semis.
The Diliman Dragons have lost three straight, but remain confident they can repeat their 59-56 win over the CEU Scorpions last Oct. 7 when they clash at 12 p.m.
Colegio de San Lorenzo is also out firm up its bid for a twice-to-beat advantage when it takes on the Lyceum Batangas Pirates at 2 p.m.
Diliman’s shock defeat to the Pirates the last time derailed its bid to complete the semis cast.
Aside from CEU (9-1) and CdSL (8-1), also assured of semis berth with still two weeks left before the end of the elims is Olivarez College (8-3).
“We just need to keep our collective focus on the task at hand,” said Diliman College coach Rensy Bajar. “We know the Scorpions won’t hand it on a silver platter so we have to double our effort to realize our immediate goal.”
The Blue Dragons have a 7-4 mark while the Pirates are toting a 3-7 card.
For the Pirates to forge a playoff for the last semis berth, they have to upset the Griffins and sweep their next three games.
“We will just keep on fighting. Until Diliman (College) completes the Final Four cast, we’re still in the hunt. We will just give it our best shot,” said Pirates coach Dan Acero, refusing to wave the white flag despite trailing the Blue Dragons three full games for the coveted berth.
The Griffins, fresh from a 78-71 thumping of the University of Batangas Brahmans over the weekend, are favored to reassert their mastery over the Pirates whom they handily beat 112-77 on Sept. 9.