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Red Lions eye share of lead

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Games today (July 17)

(Filoil Flying V Centre, San Juan)

8 a.m.- UPHSD vs AU (jrs)

10 a.m.- CSJL vs MU (jrs)

12 nn.- UPHSD vs AU (srs)

2 p.m.- CSJL vs MU (srs)

4 p.m.- SBU vs JRU (srs)

6 p.m.- SBU vs JRU (jrs)

San Beda and Mapua gun for a share of lead with Lyceum of the Philippines University even as Perpetual Help tries to prove that its first pair of strong games were no fluke as the 94th NCAA basketball tournament resumes today at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

The Lions, who turned the back the Altas, 67-65, in the opener on July 7 at the MOA Arena in Pasay City, will clash with the Jose Rizal Bombers at 4 p.m. while the Cardinals, who walloped the Jose Rizal Bombers, 72-60, Thursday at the JRU Gym in Mandaluyong, tackle the Letran Knights at 2 p.m. each hoping for a lead-clinching win.

The Pirates zoomed to the top early after hurdling their first two assignments including a gutsy 106-97 triumph over Cameroonian Hamadou Laminou and the Emilio Aguinaldo Generals Friday.

San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez said they are focused on executing their game plan and making their shots after a forgettable 21-of-58 clip from the field and 22-of-32 from the foul line against Pereptual Help that almost cost them the game.

So miserly was the Lions’ shooting that Robert Bolick, their leader, struggled by making just three of 14 attempts but still finished with a team-best 15 points after going a perfect eight-of-eight from the charity area.

“We just devoted the last week more on shooting and execution,” said Fernandez.

For the Cardinals, coach Atoy Co is expecting more from rookies Warren Bonifacio and Eric Jabel, a product of Mapua’s high school program who fired 10 and nine points, respectively, on their very first college game.

“I’ve recruited them because I know they are good and I expect to see more from them,” said Co of the Bonifacio-Jabel duo.

The Altas, for their part, have been making heads turn under new mentor Frankie Lim after coming close to shocking the Lions and then beating the fancied Knights, 78-75, Friday with Edgar Charcos, a rookie transferee out of University of the East, exploding with a career-high 27 points.

“We just want to prove that we can compete, I hope we got their respect,” said Lim, who steered San Beda to four championships more than a decade ago before bringing his act to Las Pinas.