The first day of the second round of NCAA Season 88 basketball action will feature two of the top teams in the league in separate games against squads still trying to find their true form.
San Sebastian opens the Saturday doubleheader against Emilio Aguinaldo College at 4 p.m. in what could be a repeat of the Stags’ thrilling 94-93 victory in the first round. At 6 p.m. San Beda will try to keep pace with the Stags when it takes on Lyceum.
Expected to lead San Sebastian is the rejuvenated Ian Sangalang, who is coming off a minor MCL injury on his left knee. According to Sangalang, he is more than halfway through the recovery stage and is ready to deliver another monster game for San Sebastian. Calvin Abueva, a day before the PBA draft, is also expected to go all out for the Stags as they start their second round campaign.
Ronald Pascual, the third piece to complete San Sebastian’s triumvirate decided to pull out his draft application on Wednesday. The Mexico, Pampanga product will now be more focused on the Stags’ quest to claim another title, incidentally on his final year with the squad.
EAC, meanwhile, which ended its first round campaign with just two wins, will try to avenge its heartbreaking loss to the Stags. The Generals though will have to play without coach Gerry Esplana, rookie Francis Munsayac and gunner Jorem Morada due to the one-game bans given to them in relation to the fracas the transpired in their last game against College of Saint Benilde.
Meanwhile, the Pirate are tied with EAC with just two wins after the first round. The Red Lions will try to retain the top spot with their eighth win.
Ola Adeogun, Rome Dela Rosa, Jake Pascual and the rest of the Red Lions want ti keep the momentum on their side. “Wag lang may pumutok na key players from the other side,” said Magsanoc. “Like in our loss to San Sebastian,pumutok si Calvin, plus kinain din kami ni Ronald Pascual. We were outworked by the Stags.”