ARELLANO tries to regain its confidence after a deflating loss as it takes on Mapua on Friday in the resumption of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Coming off an 81-90 defeat at the hands of defending champion San Beda — their first loss of the season — the Chiefs hope to get back on the winning track and gain a share of third spot with San Sebastian, facing a lightweight in the winless Cardinals.
Tipoff is at 2 p.m. in the league’s first playdate since postponing its games last Wednesday due to Typhoon Glenda.
Although they suffered their first loss of the season in three games, the Chiefs put up a tough stand and almost erased an 18-point deficit, cutting it to just a solitary point late in the game to give the mighty Red Lions a worthy challenge.
Still, the defeat magnified what the Chiefs have to work on, particularly minimizing turnovers after committing 23 against the Lions and their perimeter defense as they allowed their opponents to make almost half (33 of 68 or 49 percent) of their shots.
“We have to take care of the ball more and defend the perimeter better,” Chiefs coach Jerry Codiñera said.
Bannered by guards Nard Pinto and Levi Hernandez, and big men Dioncee Holts and Prince Caperal, the Chiefs enter the court as odds-on favorites against the hapless Cardinals, yet to register on the win column after four starts.
The Atoy Co-mentored squad, though, get a boost with the expected return of top scorer Joseph Eriobu, who missed Mapua’s 78-80 loss to Letran due to a hyperextended knee.
Jose Rizal University and Lyceum, which tote similar 2-2 win-loss cards, face off in the second game at 4 o’clock hoping to get over the .500 mark.