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La Salle eyes Final 4, share of lead vs NU

By Josiah Albelda Posted Sep 8th 2013

Fresh off a 30 point explosion, Ray Parks hopes to lead the NU Bulldogs to their seventh straight win and a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four when they go up against La Salle.

Whose streak will end?

Two of the league's hottest teams lock horns as National University battles De La Salle University in the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament Sunday at 4 p.m. at  the Mall of Asia Arena.

Both teams possess the longest winning streaks in the tourney right now, with the Bulldogs winning their last six games and the Green Archers coming out victorious in their last five.

But one streak will end today as the race for the top two slots heading into the playoffs reaches boiling point.

A win by NU will lock up a twice-to-beat advantage -- an all-important edge in the Final Four -- while a loss will allow La Salle to force a triple-tie with idle Far Eastern University at the top with a 9-4 card.

A victory will also ensure the Archers' entry to the postseason.

Ray Parks, who exploded for a season-high 30 points against University of the Philippines, will also look to bring in the numbers to strengthen his case for a third straight Most Valuable Player award.

The two-time MVP is third in scoring (17.8) and in assists (4.2) while finishing seventh in blocks (1.0) and eighth in rebounding (8.8) and steals (1.0) heading into the final week of competition.

But he will have to shine against the defense of Jeron Teng, who himself is making a bid for the top individual plum with season averages of 13.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

The game will air live on Studio 23, BALLS HD 167 and with a same day replay at 8:30 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34/ Destiny Cable channel 36.