SAN Beda’s dream of sweeping Season 90 of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament went kaput on Monday after suffering an early loss at the expense of College of St. Benilde at The Arena in San Juan.
Lions coach Boyet Fernandez earlier targeted an ambitious sweep of the meet on top of winning a fifth straight crown.
But the Lions would have to set that aside and just focus on defending the crown after the Blazers snapped their five-game winning streak with an 83-76 decision.
“It’s always been the objective (sweep),” Fernandez bared to Spin.ph in a chat after scouting San Sebastian in its game against Mapua in the second game. “But if you fail on this one, you still have other goals to achieve.”
“Now that we lost, we’re looking at our other goal which is to make the top two spots,” he added as the top two spots entail twice-to-beat advantages in the Final Four.
“We’ll not stop there.”
Still, Fernandez could not help but to lament at the Lions’ mistakes against the Blazers, particularly their sluggish start, the vaunted defense that was non-existent, and their turnovers.
The Blazers’ 11-0 blast to start the game did not help either.
“We just started flat. We didn’t take care of the basketball and sprint back on D,” the San Beda mentor said as his team committed 22 errors which were translated into 23 turnover points and 20 fast-break points by the Blazers.
“Credit to Benilde. They really prepared against us.”
“But I take the blame,” Fernandez was quick to add.
Fernandez and his coaching staff had no time to lick their wounds as they went straight to work after the loss, scouting their next opponent in the Golden Stags, who lost to the Cardinals in the second game.