BY completing a sweep in the NCAA Season 94 finals, not only did San Beda continue its dominance in the league – it also shut down talks that it can’t handle Lyceum with CJ Perez around.
Undeservingly so, the Red Lions were on the wrong end of criticisms after the league decided to suspend Perez for the first game of the Finals after failing to inform officials that he already applied for the PBA draft.
Usually soft-spoken, coach Boyet Fernandez finally heard enough of those talks.
“Sa totoo lang, ayaw kong mapasama ang sasbihin ko pero did you remember that we beat LPU in the second round with CJ there, and he only scored nine points against us right?” Fernandez said after their 71-56 win over Lyceum to claim their third straight title and 22nd overall in the NCAA.
“Di naman namin kasalanan na masuspend, because it’s already in the rules. If we discuss everything here, LPU will realize that they have a fault in that,” he added.
Perez finally returned as he finished with 19 points, six rebounds and four assists but that wasn’t enough as the Pirates absorbed their second straight finals defeat at the hands of the mighty Red Lions.
For Robert Bolick, he felt that the Pirates played a lot better in Game One when they were scrambling to find a solution to fill Perez’ absence.
Now with Perez around, Bolick felt that the Pirates were too preoccupied looking for him that it threw them off their game.
“Mas maganda nga ang laro nila nung Game One Siguro naging advantage namin na masyado nilang hinahanap si CJ, naiisipan namin na naging stagnant ang offense nila. Ginawa namin na advantage yun,” said Bolick.
“Nahihirapan sila, credit kay coach Boyet and sa scouting namin, naging prepared talaga kami. Di lang physically but mentally rin.”
Fernandez isn’t asking for much, all he’s asking for is for people to give credit to his players for performing the way they did in the finals.
“You have to give credit to my players. If not for my players we won’t win that Game One. Sa totoo lang fuel samin na you cannot win if CJ is there kasi my players played well. Don’t take that away from my players. It’s not the fault of my players and San Beda,” Fernandez said.
“That’s our mantra. Let’s prove that we can beat LPU with CJ there. They showed that today. Hopefully it will erase everything. Sana naman, give credit to my players, the coaching staff and the alumni who’s always there,” he added.
Still, Fernandez doesn’t want to take away credit to the Pirates who became a formidable foe over the past two years.
“I credit the coaching staff of Lyceum, coming back from 27 points down, but please bigyan naman ng credit ang players ko who played really hard in that game,” said Fernandez.
“Congratulations to LPU, job well done, two years, good job to coach Topex. They have a very bright future.”