DESPITE winning Game One, San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez still believes the Red Lions remain as the underdog for the NCAA Season 93 best-of-three finals series.
San Beda handed LPU its first defeat on Friday after the Red Lions wrested the series opener with a 94-87 win over the Pirates at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
But Fernandez said the Game One win hasn't turned the Red Lions as favorites in the championship series.
“We only won one game,” said Fernandez. “We haven’t won the championship. We are still the underdog. They beat us twice. They are still the best.”
“If you total it, 18-1 and we are 17-2. They are still the favorites,” he emphasized.
The Red Lions leaned on a total team effort with Donald Tankoua leading the way with 27 points and 29 rebounds. Robert Bolick also came through in the clutch and wound up with 24 points.
More importantly though, Fernandez said the Red Lions were able to lessen their turnovers, which has been the reason, he believes, that his team lost the two games of the elimination round.
“We are really preparing for the press of LPU as well as tell the players to take care of the basketball,” said Fernandez. “If you look at the two games, we committed 23 turnovers and allowed 22 turnover points. In our last game, we committed 27 turnovers (and allowed 32 turnover points). Medyo ‘yun ang problema namin na we want to cut it down.”
The Red Lions did cut their turnovers down, committing only 19 in the game, while giving up 25 turnover points.
“At least nanalo kami ng five points. That’s the difference. At least the players understand that if we take care of the basketball, we have a chance to beat LPU,” said Fernandez.