SAN Beda coach Boyet Fernandez urges the Red Lions to play smart as he expects an even tougher Letran Knights this time.
The Lions needed five extra minutes and a late explosion from AC Soberano to fend off a Letran in the first round, and Fernandez hopes to avoid that.
Not only will the Knights be playing for pride after dropping their last five matches against the Red Lions – Fernandez expects that they’d be fighting for something bigger than that when they clash again on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Knights will definitely be motivated as they continue to fight for Jerrick Balanza who two days ago underwent surgery to remove a tumor in his head.
“Mahirap talaga kalabanin ang Letran ngayon kasi kita mo last time na naglaban kami, it’s more of the rivalry and knowing that Letran haven’t won in the past four games, last two seasons. Ngayon may battlecry ulit sila with Jerrick there. Mahirap kalabanin yun,” said Fernandez
“We really pray and support Jerrick in his fight for his health. Kami naman we always make sure we prepare for every game. We watch tapes, we dissect what Letran is doing. It would be a different game plan, it won’t be the same just like last time kasi muntik kami matalo,” he added.
One problem Fernandez needs to solve is Bong Quinto.
The versatile forward of Letran has been unstoppable as of late, doing everything for coach Jeff Napa.
In Letran win over Arellano, Quinto barely missed out on a third straight triple double as he finished with 26 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds.
Having worked with Quinto during the All-Star break, Fernandez knows what the former NCAA Juniors MVP is capable of.
“He’s been playing well. We just have to limit Bong. He played for me in the All-Star, Robert (Bolick) said that guy can really play. He would be a very good player in the PBA,” Fernandez explained.
“We’ll try to dissect what he’s doing. We’ll try to limit him. You cannot limit him completely, he’s a good player.”