SAN Beda may have dealt Mapua a 23-point beating in their NCAA men’s basketball game Monday night, but that doesn’t mean the Red Lions will be taking the physical pounding they’ve got from the Cardinals just sitting down.
Winning coach Boyet Fernandez failed to contain his emotions afterwards, and accused Mapua players of deliberately hurting the defending champions during their 78-53 win Monday night at The Arena.
Even more, he felt the Cardinals were instructed to hit the Red Lions.
As to who was responsible, Fernandez could only second-guess.
“I really have so much respect for (Cardinals) coach Atoy (Co). Kilala ko si coach Atoy, for sure, hindi naman gagawin ng mga players nila yun kung walang go-signal, so hindi ko alam kung kanino nanggaling yun,” said the fiery San Beda mentor.
“The players, mga bata pa yan eh. Kung hindi tuturuan yan, hindi naman gaganun yan eh.”
Co had already left The Arena in San Juan when Spin.ph tried to reach him, while the rest of the Mapua coaching staff refused to comment about the matter.
Provoked, the Lions were tempted to retaliate and resulted in three of the four unsportsmanlike fouls called during the highly-physical encounter, including two on big man Kyle Pascual that led to his ejection.
“My players have so much respect for their former coaches,” Fernandez added, referring to Mapua deputies Ed Cordero and Bonnie Garcia, who are ironically, former San Beda assistant coaches under the term of Frankie Lim.
“But (what) they did to my players, di ko maintindihan, di ko ma-explain. Pag-titirahin mo mga players ko, eh ang babata nila.”
Nonetheless, Fernandez was grateful the team never lost its composure and won pulling away.
“Even though they’re trying to hurt or even injure my players, but still they were composed and we won by a mile,” he added.