SAN BEDA’S preparation for its title-retention campaign in the NCAA seniors basketball tournament starts in the PBA D-League.
Making a coaching comeback for the Red Lions, Boyet Fernandez is hoping that everything will go well as they gird up for another shot at the crown in the league’s oldest collegiate league.
“I’m happy that at least boss MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan) still continued to trust me. Pressure lang kasi I’m again inheriting a champion team, pero siyempre pagta-trabahuan natin para mag-champion ulit ang San Beda,” said Fernandez, who won two NCAA titles in 2013 and 2014 before returning to the PBA.
The Lions will have their first training session under Fernandez after the Christmas break.
Also handling Cignal-San Beda in the PBA D-League, the team will be led by its first round selection Davon Potts, Robert Bolick, AC Soberano, Calvin Optana, John Bahio, Jomari Presbitero, Kenneth Alas and Kyle Carlos are also forming the core.
“Mas magiging mabilis ang transition ko kasi nasa D-League na ang San Beda so mas madaling kilalanin ang mga bata in the preparation for the NCAA,” said Fernandez, who will have his own system to set up for the Lions.
“Kailangan ko ring mag-establish ng relationship with the players. Konti lang ang naiwan yung huli akong nag-coach sa San Beda. Malaking responsibilidad ito, malaking trabaho,” he added.
Javee Mocon, guards Radge Tongco and Soberano and Cameroonian forward Arnaud Noah are the remaining recruits by Fernandez who are still in the Lions.
Fernandez, who won six titles as NLEX coach in the PBA D-League, is hoping that it could get the services of Dan Sara and Mocon, the stars of San Beda’s NCAA title run last season who are both free agents to boost their stock.
After being replaced by Yeng Guiao as the Road Warriors coach in the PBA, Fernandez is priming up for his return in the amateur leagues, but Jamike Jarin’s departure in the Lions lair fast-tracked everything.
“Actually naman kasi D-League is really a preparation noong sa pag-alis ko sa NLEX. So D-League talaga ang puntirya noong sitwasyon ko,” said Fernandez. “But again, the San Beda situation got open and it was MVP called me up two days ago to confirm that.”
The PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup will open on January 19 at the Ynares Sports Arena.