LETRAN Knights rekindle rivalry with Mapua. — NCAA/SYNERGY/GMA

Game Today
(Filoil EcoOil Centre)
3 p.m. — Letran vs Mapua

Letran and Mapua rekindle their budding rivalry borne out of their title clash from a season ago as the two collide today in the NCAA Season 98 resumption at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

But instead of the championship, the Knights and the Cardinals will battle it out for survival following a surprising poor start by these same pair of teams tipped to reprise their title showdown.

Letran, still the team to beat despite losing Season 97 rookie MVP Rhenz Abando and former captain Jeo Ambohot to the pros, had a rough, tumbling start before recovering ground with an 81-75 win over previously unbeaten College of St. Benilde Friday.

That win sent the three-peat seeking champions back to the magic four with a 2-1 slate.

Mapua, for its part, was worse and fell into ravine following a 1-3 start, which was good for ninth spot, or second to last.

The Cardinals will try to rebound from a 79-77 setback to the University of Perpetual Help Altas Friday and avenge their two-game title sweep at the hands of the Knights in last May that denied the former their first crown in more than three decades.

Game time is at 3 p.m.

Fran Yu is expected to star anew for the Knights after a Herculean effort in the win over CSB where he had 12 points, nine rebounds, six assists and the same number of steals.

Mr. Yu, however, stressed team effort as the key.

“We won because of team effort,” said Mr. Yu, who got help from Brent Paraiso’s 25-point performance, 23 of which came in the first half. — Joey Villar