BOYET Fernandez admitted he will have big shoes to fill in as he formally takes over the head-coaching job of the four-peat-seeking San Beda Red Lions.
Fernandez will call the shots for the Lions in the 89th season of the country’s oldest collegiate league following the abrupt resignation of Ronnie Magsanoc shortly after steering the team to its third consecutive men’s basketball title.
The former PBA point guard is looking to become the third straight coach to guide San Beda to a championship after Frankie Lim, who won the first two, and Magsanoc.
But Fernandez, the top choice of San Beda patron Manny V. Pangilinan, believes it will be an arduous task for the Lions to win their fourth straight crown.
“Ang ganda ng pinakita ni Papa Ronnie (Magsanoc) sa San Beda,” said Fernandez, who had PBA stints with teams like Sta. Lucia, Pop Cola, and Alaska during his playing years. “Grateful ako kay MVP at sa San Beda community na binigyan ako ng chance.”
Known for his steady playmaking and reliable outside shooting during his heydays, Fernandez has tasred both success and failure in his coaching career.
He led Sta. Lucia to the 2007-2008 PBA Philippine Cup crown, and guided NLEX to three consecutive titles in the PBA D-League.
But in his first foray as college coach, Fernandez bombed out, failing to register a single win in 12 games with the University of the Philippine Maroons as replacement for Aboy Castro.
Fernandez isn’t promising the moon to San Beda, but assured he will work very hard to live up to expectations.
“Gagawin ko ang lahat ng makakaya ko. Hindi naman ako nagpapabaya sa trabaho, gagawin ko lahat para worthy naman ako sa trust and confidence ni boss MVP at ng San Beda,” he said.
Having worked as team consultant during Magsanoc’s tenure with the Lions, according to Fernandez, is a plus factor in his familiarity with the team.
The Red Lions will be parading practically an intact lineup next season, with Finals MVP Baser Amer and Nigerian Ola Adeogun returning for another tour of duty.
“Pero siyempre I still have to work on the trust and confidence of the players dahil consultant lang ako last year. Ang tiwala eh makukuha lang naman kapag nakikita nila na nagtatrabaho ka. I won't ask for trust. I’ll work for it,” he said.