THINGS may have been heated between San Beda and San Sebastian regarding the Stags’ physical play, especially after the exchange of words at their last elimination round meeting in NCAA Season 93.
But in the aftermath of San Beda's 76-71 win to end San Sebastian’s season, Red Lions star Robert Bolick was all praises for their vanquished foes’ style of play.
"Ganoon na talaga sila maglaro, which [is] sobrang nakaka-inspire kalaban yung mga ganoon, kasi binibigay nila lahat eh," Bolick said on Tuesday after the Red Lions marched to their 12th straight finals appearance.
"Hindi naman porke't alam nila na, for example, mananalo na kami—tingnan mo kanina, three seconds na lang, gusto pa nila manalo, gusto pa nila. That's the beauty of San Sebastian," he added.
Bolick, who finished with 21 points and four assists in the win, even put now PBA star Calvin Abueva as an example of the byproduct of the Stags' culture.
Abueva was known as a player who left everything on the floor and like these Stags, he has been criticized for playing a little too excessive from the amateur ranks to the pros.
"Look at Abueva now, tingnan mo naman, lahat ng mga players ng San Sebastian. That's how they play, and I love how they play. Sino hindi mamo-motivate na ganoon ang kalaban mo?" Bolick continued.
"Kasi pag pumunta ka sa probinsya, ganoon naman ang laro eh. Kahit two pesos ang labanan diyan, kahit anong mangyari, panalo kung panalo eh."
And as they enter the Finals on Friday against Lyceum, Bolick is grateful to these gritty Stags for preparing them hard days before the three-game affair.
"Sinabi ko na nga sa team, San Sebastian really plays hard. Hindi naman nila intention manakit. They just want it more. We have to appreciate.. andami kong natutunan which is kahit anong mangyari, we have to stay focused."