LETRAN is not counting on just the twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals as coach Aldin Ayo stressed they are going for the No. 1 spot when they battle San Beda in a playoff in NCAA Season 91.
Responding to suggestions the he could let Letran play easy in the playoff since the Knights and Lions are heavily favored to meet in the finals, Ayo noted that other teams in semis contention are no pushovers and getting the top spot in the Final Four will be an added advantage.
The Knights and Red Lions clash on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
The Knights arranged a playoff for No. 1 after beating Perpetual Help on Friday, forcing a tie with San Beda with a 13-5 mark.
“We are going to play hard against them,” Ayo said.
“Kahit nga patintero o tumbang preso, hindi kami papatalo sa San Beda, basketball pa kaya.”
Arellano and Mapua will start the stepladder playoffs with the winner facing Jose Rizal University. The winner of that match takes the No. 3 seeding and the loser enters the semis at No. 4.
“Kung titignan mo ’yung mga teams na nakapasok, malalakas ’yun. Hindi ka puwedeng mamili,” said Ayo.
“Ako, naniniwala ako sa karma eh. I don’t want to disrespect the game. Basta kapag laro, we are going to play to win. Hindi ’yung tipong mag-iingat o kung ano. May pupunta dito na manonood. They deserve a good game.”
Ayo expressed confidence in playing against the Knights.
“I’m optimistic. Nakuha namin ‘yung gusto naming i-run sa San Beda. Hindi lang talaga pumapasok ‘yung tira namin,” Ayo said, referring to their second-round match last week won by the Lions.