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San Sebastian, Benilde target solo lead

MANILA, Philippines - San Sebastian and College of St. Benilde dispute the solo lead today in a duel of unbeaten teams while Letran and Perpetual Help collide in a clash of winless squads in the 85th NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Stags, who stunned the three-peat champion San Beda Red Lions, 83-77, last week for their second straight win, and the hot-starting Blazers part ways as they square off in the 4 p.m. main game.

Letran and Perpetual Help, on the other hand, shoot for first win at each other’s expense in the 2 p.m. opener. The Knights and the Altas have dropped their first two games.

Jimbo Aquino, who starred for SSC in its victory over San Beda, hopes to come up with a big follow-up to his 26-point game against the Lions, including four triples in the fourth quarter that anchored the Stags’ stirring win.

“It’s a huge win and I want to think it gave us more confidence,” said San Sebastian coach Ato Agustin, a former PBA MVP.

The SSC mentor, however, cautioned his players not to take the Blazers lightly.

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“We have to respect all teams we face, we can’t afford to be overconfident with anyone,” said Agustin.

St. Benilde has racked up two victories over Angeles U Foundation and Mapua to join the fancied SSC and Jose Rizal U at the helm.

St. Benilde coach Richard del Rosario is hopeful his wards will be able to hold their own against the Stags as they brace for a tough four-game schedule that includes matches against the Lions and the Knights next week.

“This is a game that would measure us as a team because we’ll be facing tougher San Beda and Letran next,” said del Rosario.

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