AS the smoke of battle clears, a new and bigger one begins.
Arellano and Mapua set off the stepladder playoffs of NCAA Season 91 men’s basketball tournament in the heated race for the remaining berth in the Final Four.
The Chiefs and Cardinals slug it out at 4 p.m. in a do-or-die match at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The two schools end up with the lowest quotient among three teams that included Jose Rizal University which finished with similar 12-6 win-loss slates at the end of the double round eliminations on Friday.
The scenario necessitated adopting the stepladder playoffs to determine which will join defending champion San Beda, Letran, and Jose Rizal in the semis.
The Chiefs had the lowest quotient among the three with -21 followed by the Cardinals with -1.
Winner of the Arellano-Mapua tussle will then face Jose Rizal on Thursday for the no. 3 slot in the Final Four.
Also to be played on Tuesday is the 4 p.m. tiff between the Red Lions and the Knights to determine which between them will emerge no. 1 going to the playoffs.
Both teams finished their elimination round campaigns with identical 13-5 slates.
Letran and San Beda though are both assured of twice-to-beat advantages in the Final Four.