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    Fri, Dec 9

    NATIONAL University looks to tighten its grip on a top two spot as La Salle tries to stay in the top half of the standings on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 85 men's basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena.

    The Bulldogs, already in the Final Four with a 9-3 card, and the Green Archers (5-6) collide at 1 p.m.

    Things to know:

    TOP TWO BID

    Clinching a semifinal spot for the first time in seven years, NU can boost its postseason hopes with a win as it moves closer to clinching a twice-to-beat advantage.

    But for the Bulldogs to accomplish that, John Lloyd Clemente must sustain his groove as the team's lead offensive power while also being the leader for the young crew.

    MVP BID IN PERIL

    Schonny Winston's MVP dreams are in danger as he cannot afford to miss anymore games.

    Sitting out the last four contests for La Salle due to a calf injury, the Fil-Am guard's early eruption might go to waste if he remains inactive for Wednesday's game, putting him one game short of the 70 percent requirement for games played to be considered for the award.

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    More importantly, the Green Archers badly need his presence to make this late Final Four push.

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    SAN MARCELINO MYSTERY

    Jerom Lastimosa made a surprise appearance in Adamson's last game and canned two crucial free throws with 32 seconds left.

    Soaring Falcons coach Nash Racela maintained that his lead guard can still be deployed after a dislocated right foot, but it's a highly questionable move all the more with the Final Four race heating up.

    Adamson (5-6) meets Far Eastern University (4-8) at 6:30 p.m.

    MAINTAINING FORM

    A rematch of last season's finalists are set on Saturday, with University of the Philippines (10-2) taking on Ateneo (8-3).

    But before that, they will have to hurdle different foes on Wednesday.

    UP tackles also-ran University of Santo Tomas (1-10) at 11 a.m., motivated to bounce back after a narrow 82-80 loss to La Salle three days back. Ateneo takes on lowly University of the East (4-8) at 4:30 p.m. seeking to stretch its win streak to four.

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    PHOTO: UAAP
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