SAN Beda claimed its fifth straight victory in the NCAA Season 94 but for coach Boyet Fernandez, there's no reason to celebrate after almost squandering a 22-point advantage against Letran.
"They thought it was already a won game for us," he lamented. "I hope they all realize what is happening right now. The game is not yet over until the final buzzer sounds. I’m really pissed off with the way we played in the fourth quarter."
Up by 22 points, 67-45, midway through the fourth period, the Red Lions coasted and went through the motions, with their complacency coming back to haunt them as the Knights staged a killer 23-2 tear that cut the deficit down to just one, 69-68, with 16.8 seconds remaining.
Fernandez lashed out at the reserves, noting that no matter how big the lead is, the players on the floor should keep on playing defense the San Beda way.
"It’s really the attitude eh," he said. "It’s the attitude thinking that you already have 22 points and then they just simply took all those three-point shots out there."
"They all want to play, yes, and I’m giving them a chance to play. But that’s simply not acceptable, the fact that if you haven’t played the whole third quarter and you’re given the chance to play in the fourth quarter, that doesn’t mean you just shoot all those three-points and you will not play defense. That’s really bad."
With this near-debacle, the affable mentor couldn't help but contemplate if he should continue giving everybody in his lineup playing time or start shortening his rotation in preparation for the homestretch of the eliminations.
"If we have lost this game, I should probably blame myself for that because I gave everybody a chance to play and the other guys who came in just simply didn’t want to really step up," he said, still frustrated with the kind of game San Beda showed in the payoff period.
"I do thank the guys who played the last one minute of the quarter: Joe (Presbitero), AC (Soberano), Franz (Abuda), Donald (Tankoua) and Javee Mocon for stepping up and really taking good care of our defense in the last minute," Fernandez toasted for his closing five.
"But again, that 22-point lead, we’re not playing defense as a team. We’re not like that. We’re not that team in the fourth quarter," he said. "Again, the first three quarters, that was San Beda. Fourth quarter, I don’t know whose team is that. I’m sorry, I’m really pissed off about it."