KNIGHTS, BOMBERS GUN FOR SHARE OF NCAA LEAD

Manila, July 30, 2003 (Star) Letran and Jose Rizal gun for a share of the lead with San Beda as the two take on separate foes in todayís 79th NCAA basketball tournament at the Rizal Coliseum.

Tied at second spot behind the Red Lions (5-2) with 4-2 records, the Knights tackle the Philippine Christian U Dolphins at 2 p.m. while the Heavy Bombers face the Perpetual Help Altas at 4 p.m. in a pair of final first round games.

Letran hopes to ride anew on the shoulders of Ronjay Enrile, who starred in his teamís 68-66 come-from-behind victory over a skidding Perpetual Help (2-4) last week, in its bid to regain the title it won four years back.

The win was typical of the Knights who displayed character and poise despite falling behind by as many as 21 points in the third quarter.

"We may not have the veteran players and big men like the others but we are a persevering team and we donít give up that easily," said Alas.

But the Knights are expected to face tough challenge from the Dolphins, who are riding the crest of a shocking 69-63 win over the Bombers a week back to improve their record to 3-3.

PCU mentor Jimmy Mariano, a former Olympian, has been getting superb efforts from his veterans in Joseph Roque, Arden Guiyab and Robert Sanz and a number of promising rookies led by the exciting duo of Ian Vincent Garrido and Ramon Retaga Jr.

The 6í4" Garrido has been a revelation in the shaded area while Retaga is big contributor in easing up the backcourt chores of skipper Roque.

"Sabi ko nga before the NCAA started, we can compete at this level if my rookies play well kaya look at us now," said Mariano, who almost steered PCU to its first finals stint last season.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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