MAPUA is not taking La Salle Greenhills lightly in their juniors basketball finals despite sweeping its elimination round meetings in the NCAA Season 93.
Red Robins coach Randy Alcantara said securing the higher seeding than the Greenies is not an excuse to be complacent especially after LSGH came from a remarkable triple overtime win over San Beda to gain a finals berth.
“Ever since naman, La Salle parang San Beda rin. Lalo ngayon, galing sila sa panalo. Iba ‘yung morale nila ngayon,” said Alcantara after Mapua held practice on Tuesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Led by Will Gozum and Clint Escamis, the Red Robins marched to the finals after a 13-5 record in the eliminations and a win over Letran in the Final Four.
Waiting in the wings after La Salle Greenhills extended its Final Four series with San Beda, Mapua had to prepare for two teams before it was determined that the Red Robins will face the Greenies in the best-of-three finals series that begins on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Alcantara said the road to the finals was not an easy one for the Red Robins after losing five games, two more than they had in last season’s elimination round.
“Dumaan kami sa games na mahihirap. May mga games na natalo kami, may mga crucial games na nanalo kami. Proud ako sa mga players ko. Sila pa rin ‘yung naglaro diyan at nandito uli kami sa finals. Sana ma-defend namin ‘yung title,” Alcantara said.
Alcantara said he expects LSGH to come out with a lot of energy that he hopes his wards will match, noting the 72 rebounds the Greenies snared against the Red Cubs in their Final Four match.
“Grabe ‘yung puso nila ngayon at ‘yung never say die… ‘Yung 72 rebounds, kailangan tapatan namin,” said Alcantara.