LA Salle Greenhills is looking to finally stop titleholder Mapua when the Greenies and Red Robins battle for the NCAA Season 93 juniors basketball crown.
The series starts on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, with the second-seeded Red Robins favored after sweeping their elimination-round matches against the Greenies.
But Greenies coach Marvin Bienvenida believes LSGH, No. 4 in the semifinals, is the hungrier team.
“Definitely, we are the underdogs,” said Bienvenida. “We are in a losing streak since last season against Mapua.”
“The positive thing that we could get is that we should be hungrier,” said Bienvenida.
The Greenies overcame the San Beda Red Cubs in the semifinals, while Mapua advanced to the title series by eliminating Letran.
Bienvenida is also confident the Greenies would soon be back in top form after the energy-sapping triple-overtime thriller against the Red Cubs that saw several players suffering from cramps.
Joel Cagulangan scored 29 points, including a crucial triple with 4.2 seconds left to force the third overtime.
“He’s been hounded the whole game. I was worried that he might have been given too many minutes but I was still quite surprised with how he played and how he finished,” said Bienvenida.
Bienvenida also said their conditioning program during the preseason paid off in their match against San Beda.
“When everyone was cramping up, our desire to win was always there. It’s a validation of what we practiced since Day 1 when we started working on our condition. We got the stronger bodies and the bigger hearts as well,” said Bienvenida.