MANILA -- Fans of the oldest collegiate league in the country will have to expect a down-the-wire showdown between defending champion San Sebastian College and San Beda as the two target an immaculate card on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan.

The Stags and the Red Lions both sport a 7-0 (win-loss) slate as the top two teams in the 86th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) clash for the first time since last year’s finals dominated by San Sebastian.

Led by then Finals MVP and now PBA hopeful Jimbo Aquino, snapped the four-peat seeking San Beda after sweeping them in the best-of-three finals.

San Sebastian currently holds the longest championship streak in the NCAA after copping five titles from 1993-1997.

“We’re expecting a tough, very intense game,” said coach Ato Agustin.

Red Lions coach Frankie Lim, who steered San Beda’s grandslam feat from 2006-2009, said the game is just a matter of who’s got the bigger heart.

“We should play with a lot of heart and determination to beat them. I told my boys that it will never be easy beating them. Just leave everything on that floor and good things will happen,” he said.

“It’s all in the past now, its time to look at the present and I feel we have a stronger chance now,” added Lim referring to their heartbreaking setbacks last year to San Sebastian.

But before the 4 p.m. clash between titan squads, Jose Rizal University and Mapua will battle it out for solo third at the end of the first round. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)