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CSB tries anew to book Final Four slot against SSC-R

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Games Tuesday(Filoil EcoOil Centre)12 p.m. — SSC-R vs CSB3 p.m. — UPHSD vs AU

DENIED last time, College of St. Benilde (CSB) tries one more time for a victory that would propel it to the Final Four for the first time in two decades as it squares off with a desperate San Sebastian College (SSC-R) today in NCAA Season 98 at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

Playing shorthanded without three players, the Blazers tried but failed to book that precious semis spot last game only to succumb to the University of Perpetual Help (UPHSD) Altas, 89-83, Friday and reel to third spot and a 10-4 record.

But they will have another opportunity when they tackle the Stags at 12 p.m.

“If we win, we are in the Final Four,” said CSB coach Charles Tiu.

The last time CSB made it that far was in 2002, two years after it claimed its first and only seniors championship in the league to date.

They almost ended the long drought when it finished fourth in the standings only to lose in the play-in, a novel system which was implemented only last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened season, and eventually crashed out a season ago.

CSB will remain without Mark Sangco and Chris Flores, who will serve the last of the two-game suspensions assessed to them for their involvement in the John Amores-centered brawl last week.

Big man Ladis Lepalam, for his part, returns to action after serving his one-game ban last time.

CSB is expecting it to be tough though as it will face a SSC-R squad clinging to its diminishing Final Four hope.

The Stags fell to the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates (11-5) in a 73-65 defeat Sunday but remained in the race with a 6-8 record.

That is assuming they could sweep their last four remaining games and pray at least one of the Blazers and the San Beda Lions (10-5) would drop all their last assignments.

Meanwhile, UPHSD (7-9) and Arellano University (6-9) battle it out at 3 p.m. in a non-bearing contest. — Joey Villar