The second spot in the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four and the twice-to-beat advantage that goes with it are still up for grabs, but those are the last things on Louie Alas’ mind right now.
The Letran coach’s main concern is for his Knights to sustain the consistency that has translated to wins for the team in their past five games and seven of their last eight in the second round of the eliminations.
“Yung twice-to-beat hindi pinag-uusapan. I just want my players to remain consistent,” said Alas, whose wards were once in eighth place in the 10-team field when they started the season with a 1-3 win-loss card.
The Knights have come a long way since then and are now assured of a semifinal spot with an 11-6 slate.
And they try to extend their hot streak when the take on Arellano on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Knights enter their 4 p.m. affair with the Chiefs with the main intention of getting ready for the postseason.
But they have a chance to go higher as a win against the Chiefs and a loss by second-running San Sebastian to San Beda in their much-anticipated meeting in the last day of eliminations on Monday will forge a playoff for the No. 2 seeding and the twice-to-beat incentive.
Although they welcome the opportunity to get that No. 2 position they last attained in 2007, the Knights are more focused on the factors they have control of.
“Ayaw naming manalangin sa resulta ng ibang games. We just have to take care of our own business,” said Alas.
The Chiefs beat the Knights, 77-67, in their first-round meeting, but this time Alas will be counting on a complete lineup led by his son Kevin Alas and the comebacking Raymond Almazan.
But that won’t stop the underdog Chiefs, led by prolific rookies James Forrester and John Pinto, and veterans Rocky Acidre and Prince Caperal, from giving the Knights a worthy challenge.
In the second game two hours later, eliminated teams Mapua and College of St. Benilde square off as they hope to end their disappointing seasons on a positive note.