Scramble for fourth Final 4 slot tightens

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    THREE teams trying to press their bids for the last Final Four slot will be ranged against also-ran foes out to play the spoiler’s roles today in the 95th NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

    Fourth-running San Sebastian College tackles Arellano University at 2 o’clock after Mapua University, which is at fifth with an 8-8 card, clashes with Perpetual Help in the curtain-raiser at noon.

    At sixth with a 7-9 card, College of St. Benilde tangles with Jose Rizal University at 4 p.m.

    Defending three-time champion and unbeaten San Beda University and Lyceum have already clinched the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively, while Letran bagged the third spot, making it a three-way fight for No. 4 between the Golden Stags, the Cardinals, and the Blazers.

    A San Sebastian win over the Chiefs and a loss by Mapua to the Altas will enable the Stags to emerge as the fourth-ranked squad in the Final Four and send CSB packing.

    The Red Lions will advance to the finals outright if they beat the Pirates this Thursday at the same venue with the three next best teams clashing in the stepladder semifinals.

    San Sebastian edged Arellano 85-79 when they first tangled last Sept. 6.
    With a 9-7 slate, the Stags are bidding to rebound from their 73-90 defeat to the Cards last Oct. 10.

    Gunner Allyn Bulanadi, RK Ilagan, Alvin Capobres, JM Calma, Rommel Calahat, and Kenneth Villapando are expected to lead San Sebastian’s charge.

    The Chiefs absorbed a 50-77 shellacking at the hands of another eliminated squad in Emilio Aguinaldo College last Oct. 11.