After two postponements, Arellano University finally gets its chance of showing its true wares as it clashes with a dangerous Emilio Aguinaldo College today in the 94th NCAA basketball tournament at the Arellano U Gym in Legarda, Manila.
The Chiefs’ season debut was postponed twice after their games against the San Beda Lions on July 10 and Perpetual Help Altas last Tuesday were both called off due to inclement weather and they hope their 4 p.m. duel with the Generals at the former’s homecourt will push through as scheduled.
“The boys are excited and eager to play this season,” said AU coach Jerry Codinera.
Codinera, however, lamented the lack of practice the past few days because of the bad weather condition.
“We couldn’t practice for several days because some of the players got stranded due to flooding and we also can’t use our court because of the moist caused by the rains,” said Codinera. “So we really don’t know what will happen tomorrow (today), we’ll just do what we can to win.”
AU will also be without Kent Salado, its unquestioned leader who suffered a season-ending injury early in the year.
Expected to step up in his place are Michael Canete, Rence Luis Alcoriza, Levi dela Cruz, Archie Concepcion and vastly improved Elie Ongolo Ongolo.
AU, however, will play an EAC team that nearly tripped leader Lyceum of the Phl U in a 97-106 defeat Friday.
Cameroonian Hamadou Laminou, back after he suffered an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury that cut short his campaign last year, had a monster effort in that defeat with 34 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks.
“I’m happy with how he (Laminou) played in our last game and I’m hopeful he could sustain that kind of game the rest of the way,” said EAC coach Ariel Sison.