FILE - San Beda in the NCAA Season 97. NCAA/GMA PHOTO

FILE – San Beda in the NCAA Season 97. NCAA/GMA PHOTO

San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez and his coaching staff have been scouting Mapua lately, because they think the Cardinals form a huge obstacle to the Red Lions’ path to the Final Four of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The unbeaten Lions just pushed the University of Perpetual System Dalta Altas out of the way on Wednesday, 78-71, before Fernandez said that a plot to do away with the Cardinals next should be done in earnest.

“To be honest, Mapua is one of the strongest teams this season. We will be ready for them, for sure,’’ said Fernandez after the Lions notched their sixth straight win to move within another victory of a sure twice-to-beat semifinal spot.

That hurdle would be the Cardinals, who shot the lights out from afar in their previous winning outings where they fired 16 threes against the Perpetual Help Altas and the College of St. Benilde Blazers whom they torched with 12 triples recently.

Defending champion Letran is also on the same boat as the Knights roared to 6-0 following an emphatic 83-62 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College in the other match.

James Kwekuteye was at the forefront of the San Beda assault, shooting 18 points, with Yukien Andrada contributing 15.

The Knights likewise need to win their next assignment—against Jose Rizal University—on Saturday to secure a top two spot and the twice-to-beat benefit that goes with it.

—June Navarro

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