THE road to San Beda's bid for a fourth straight NCAA title has already begun, and for now, coach Boyet Fernandez is ready to accept the growing pains given his youthful core.
Already without main guys Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon, the multi-titled mentor is doing all he can to fasttrack the development of his young guys months ahead of the NCAA Season 95.
"Medyo bata pa talaga eh. Sabi ko nga, wag na nating hanapin yung Robert Bolick o Javee Mocon sa likod natin. Tayo-tayo na lang," he said as the Red Lions settled for a third place finish in the 2018 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) President's Cup.
Donald Tankoua is still with San Beda, but surrounding him are still unproven young guns who Fernandez feels should take the mantle for the team moving forward.
AC Soberano and Clint Doliguez are now counted on to take bigger roles for the Red Lions, while youthful guards James Canlas, Evan Nelle, Prince Etrata and Peter Alfaro are expected to deliver even more after showing flashes of their potential in the three-game series against Ateneo.
For Fernandez, these tough challenges are just what San Beda needs in the coming months.
"Alam naman natin na nandyan si Clint, si James, si AC, pero kailangan ko talaga yung suporta ng mga rookies ko especially Evan. Sa amin, talagang mas okay ito kasi kailangan kong i-fasttrack yung maturity ng players ko," he said. "Sana all of these can help us prepare for the NCAA kasi kailangan naming manalo."