Cardinals, Red Lions in KO showdown

James Kwekuteye will be the focal point of the San Beda offense. NCAA MEDIA

With this side of the Final Four down to one game, San Beda and Mapua go at it again on Wednesday with the powerhouse Lions refusing to admit having momentum and the Cardinals out to prove that they belong with the big boys.

“We just tied them. With the way they played, I think we’re still the underdogs due to the fact that we came back from 10 points down,’’ said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez, who steered his Lions to a come-from-behind 73-67 win in overtime last Sunday.

“We have to maintain our do-or-die mindset. We still feel that we have things to improve on.”

Game time is 3 p.m. at FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Dropped into the play-in stage after finishing the eliminations at No. 3, the Lions remain wary of the Cards, the league’s top three-point shooting team which fired blanks when it mattered most.

But coach Randy Alcantara is rallying his troops in this rare Final Four stint, as a win will shove them into a best-of-three series with defending champion Letran that would affirm Mapua’s status as a rising collegiate power.

“This is our chance and we will not back down,” Alcantara said as his crew is labeled as the slight underdog despite qualifying to the Final Four as the No. 2 seed. “We worked hard to reach this far and our team has something to prove.’’

San Beda has made the title series all of the last 15 years, winning 11 of them. INQ

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