CEBU CITY – The University of San Carlos Warriors are just a win away from celebrating their biggest sporting achievement in decades but conspicuously missing from the festivities is the school's most famous son, PBA great Ramon 'El Presidente' Fernandez.
Fernandez was a regular in the stands last season in USC's run to the finals where the Warriors fell just short of the title. Now, with the Warriors sporting a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Cesafi finals against University of Visayas, the Leyte-native is nowhere to be found.
But USC need not be alarmed, said Fernandez who assured he is cheering his heart out from afar – Zamboanga, Sibugay to be exact.
“I have not watched a full game of the team but I believe that they will win it this year,” said Fernandez in a chat with Spin.ph on Friday morning.
Regarded as the greatest player to play in the PBA, Fernandez has just been busy tending to his various business endeavors, hence his absence from the sidelines during USC games this season.
USC’s five-game loss in the finals last season to Southwestern University should serve as its biggest motivation, said Fernandez.
“For one, the experience they’ve gained, importante yun. And most if not all the players have improved,” said Fernandez of the Warriors’ roster that boasts of nine players who played in the championship series last season.
In spite of their 2-1 advantage, Fernandez cautioned the Warriors from getting ahead of themselves, especially against a UV Green Lancers team that has come back from great adversity in the past.
Back in 2012, UV fell behind 0-2 to SWU but rallied to win the title in five games.
“They are in the best shape. So they just have to focus on the job at hand and improve on their mental toughness,” said the four-time PBA MVP.