WHICH team will live on and fight another day in the NCAA Season 93?
Gritty San Sebastian takes on the well-rested Jose Rizal University on Friday as the two squads clash to start the do-or-die stepladder semifinals in the NCAA Season 93 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Game time is at 3:30 p.m. with the winner getting the right to face the second-seeded San Beda in a knockout match for the right to battle Lyceum, already in the finals after sweeping the 18-game elimination round.
The Stags carry momentum from surviving two tough must-win games to complete the semis cast. Michael Calisaan has been taking charge for San Sebastian, but coach Egay Macaraya has also been pleased to see his wards play together and give ample support to their 6-foot-4 gunner.
“I guess this just proved that they aren’t just happy to be here but they deserve to be here as well,” said Macaraya.
“At the start, I wanted to temper expectations cause we’re a small All-Filipino team but the boys really showed na gusto talaga nila umabot dito. I guess this is the result of all the hard work we put in sa season,” he added.
While the Stags had to struggle to be at this point, the Heavy Bombers have been underrated yet efficient in finishing at third place with an 11-7 record. JRU coach Vergel Meneses hopes to pull off some more surprises in the semis.
“Ang JRU naman laging ganito e. Now we want to take it one game at a time kasi iba (level) na to,” said Meneses.
For the longest tenured NCAA coach, finding consistency will be the key for them if they want to survive.
The Heavy Bombers have always had the pieces, with gunner Tey Teodoro leading the pack alongside PBA hopeful John Grospe, but the question for them all season long was to what type of team will show up come game day.
It’s something that Meneses hopes to address as they open their playoff campaign.
“As I’ve said, I’m not worried about the other teams, I’m worried about JRU,” Meneses continued. “If we play to our system we will be hard to stop, pero we know na kami lang ang din ang tatalo sa amin.”