WHOEVER you are, never expect to get special treatment.
Coach Boyet Fernandez stressed this point on Wednesday after benching import Ola Adeogun in the Red Lions’ 53-64 loss to Letran in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Fernandez left the Nigerian slotman on the bench after Adeogun missed practice last Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and only returned the day before the anticipated Finals rematch against the Knights.
“We are trying to make a statement na kahit na star ka, but if you violate the rules, you have to sacrifice,” Fernadnez said. “Rules are rules.”
“Parang kakainin ko 'yung rules ko kung babaliin ko. What will the other players think?”
Adeogun emerged from the San Beda dugout with his head bowed, barely noticing the press people wating for him outside the locker room of The Arena in San Juan.
Asked for comments about his benching, the 23-year old Adeogun shied away and asked the scribes to "go ask coach."
"Just go ask coach. I don't feel like talking. I'm sorry," Adeogun told Spin.ph as he continued to walk out of the venue.
Fernandez said he has meted out the same punishment to players who committed the same violation in the past.
The San Beda coach said he doesn’t know why his top big man missed practice, especially in preparation for a game against their archrivals.
But regardless, he had to pay the price.
“We really wanted to play him, but we’d rather follow our rules so that hindi ma-parisan ng iba," Fernandez said.
Adeogun’s punishment also came just days after he aired his sentiments on social media about being snubbed in the NCAA All-Star game this Saturday.
But Fernandez clarified that his tweet had nothing to do with the benching.
“I respect his opinion.”
“Probably we’ve stepped backward for now, and hopefully we can push it two or three steps forward,” Fernandez concluded.