JOSE Rizal University guns for the solo lead in the 88th NCAA men’s basketball tournament when it collides with Emilio Aguinaldo College on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
Currently tied with San Beda at 2-0 win-loss slates, the Bombers hope to keep their winning streak going in their 4 p.m. encounter with the Generals.
The Bombers are fresh from a 77-65 victory over Arellano University last Thursday in a game where team captain Nate Matute exploded for a career-high 29 points built around six triples.
Despite coming in favored against the Generals—last year’s cellar-dwellers, the Bombers are not about to take their opponents lightly.
“We can’t take any team for granted,” Bombers coach Vergel Meneses said.
JRU knows that EAC has improved vastly from last season – primarily because of Cameroonian import Cedric Happi Noube.
Happi Noube was a major factor in the Generals 75-72 win over Arellano University as the 6-foot-6 slotman recorded a double-double of 14 points and 16 rebounds.
The Generals expect their import to post the same kind of numbers against the Bombers, but also expect a rough ride against a team that thrives on its defense.
“JRU will give us tough looks,” Generals coach Gerry Esplana said. “At kahit hindi masyado malaki ang big guys nila, team effort sila sa rebounding.”
In the second seniors’ game, College of St. Benilde and Mapua square off as they try to bounce back from close losses.
The Blazers are coming off a 95-93 defeat to San Sebastian last Saturday while the Cardinals bowed to the Bombers, 65-64, on opening day.
A pair of juniors’ games is featured earlier with the JRU Light Bombers taking on the EAC Brigadiers at 12 noon and the Mapua Red Robins battling the CSB Greenies at 2 p.m.