A HURTING Letran squad seeks to bounce back in the 88th NCAA men's basketball tournament as it takes on winless Arellano University on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Knights, who dropped a close 69-66 decision to University of Perpetual Help exactly a week ago, go into their 4 p.m. duel with the Chiefs possibly without three key players due to injuries.
“It will be a tough game. Three starters are doubtful, but we’ll find ways to play good,” Knights coach Louie Alas said, refusing to name the players involved.
Kevin Alas, the Knights’ best player, however is expected to suit up for the team.
Alas' presence makes the Knights a favorite over the Chiefs, who have yet to register a win in three outings.
The Chiefs are in rebuilding more this season, with more rookies in the team than veterans, notable among them Nard Pinto, Julius Cadavis, and John Bangga.
But the school has yet to get over its shocking loss to a six-man San Beda squad in its opening game.
The Letran-Arellano tussle will be followed by the 6 p.m. matchup between Emilio Aguinaldo and Lyceum, two teams which are also looking to recover from losses.
The Generals, who bowed to Jose Rizal University, 90-79, last Thursday, hope to get consistent production from Russell Yaya, Cedric Happi Noube, and Nikki Monteclaro.
Like the Chiefs, the Pirates are still winless in three games. They hope to finally barge into the win column behind the leadership of Chris Cayabyab and Shane Ko.
Earlier in juniors’ play, Letran faces Arellano at 12 noon, while EAC battles Lyceum at 2 p.m.