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    What you need to know ahead of NCAA Final Four

    May 7, 2022
    Fran Yu Paolo Hernandez
    Fran Yu and Paolo Hernandez try to lead their teams to the finals.
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto | NCAA/GMA Photos

    FOUR teams remain in the NCAA Season 97 with Letran and Mapua seeking to advance outright to the Finals while lower seeds San Beda and Perpetual raring to spoil the party.

    NCAA Final Four preview

    The Final Four commences on Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan with tip-off times set at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

    Who will emerge as the last two teams standing? Here are what you need to know.

    BATTLE OF INTRAMUROS?: It's been over four decades since Letran and Mapua faced off in the Finals and with the Knights and the Cardinals holding twice-to-beat edges, there's a high chance that the two clash for the crown for the first time since 1979. For that to happen, though, they have to hurdle their respective foes before they can focus on the best-of-three Finals.

    KEY LOSSES: Making life hard for San Beda and Perpetual, respectively, will be the absence of key figures in their attack. James Kwekuteye is still listed as doubtful as he fights his way back from a severe ankle sprain las week, forcing the Red Lions to look for a new leader. Kim Aurin, meanwhile, is still expected to miss the game for the Altas due to chicken pox.

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    OVERWHELMING FAVORITES: After going 9-0 in the eliminations, Letran can now set its sights to a perfect season and that goal really is doable with Rhenz Abando, Jeo Ambohot, and Fran Yu leading the charge. What coach Bonnie Tan is just wary, though, would be handling those emotions as the Knights try to inch closer to a back-to-back one step at a time.

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      BREAKOUT KIDS: Much has been said of Mapua's potential heading into the season, and what better way for Cardinals coach Randy Alcantara to realize that with a Finals seat. Warren Bonifacio will still be counted on down low, but not far behind will be Brian Lacap, Paolo Hernandez, and Toby Agustin, all of whom are motivated to repeat their 68-54 win in the eliminations.

      PLAYER TO WATCH: Big games need big time players, and Fran Yu will now have the limelight to himself anew as he will be counted on to steer Letran back to the Finals and play better than his current averages of 5.0 points, 4.1 assists, and 4.0 rebounds.

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      Fran Yu and Paolo Hernandez try to lead their teams to the finals.
      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto | NCAA/GMA Photos
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