UNIVERSITY of Perpetual Help assistant coach Lester del Rosario hopes to avoid another post-game commotion with San Beda mentor Boyet Fernandez when their teams face off on Monday at the resumption of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
The two coaches traded barbs after the Lions outlasted the Altas, 77-75, in their first-round encounter last August 6 while doing away with the customary post-game handshake.
But Del Rosario said he has moved on.
“Wala naman kami dapat pag-awayan ‘di ba? Pareho lang kami gusto manalo at nagtatrabaho,” the son of head coach Aric del Rosario told Spin.ph on Sunday. “Dapat lang may respeto. ‘Yun lang naman, ‘di ba?”
“Kaya may the best team win na lang,” added the younger Del Rosario, who has been the one calling the shots while his father has been more of a motivational coach for the Altas.
Tipoff of the marquee matchup is at 2 p.m. with the league-leading Lions seeking to move closer to securing a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four after clinching a ninth straight semifinal berth with a 76-60 win over Lyceum last Wednesday. The victory was the Mendiola-based dribblers’ 13th in 15 games.
The fifth-running Altas, on the other hand, aim to return to the postseason picture after losing their last two assignments that dropped them to an 8-6 win-loss card, a full game behind College of St. Benilde.
But both teams only had proper practices the past two days after failing to do so for two days due to the stormy weather that left their gym floors slippery.
San Beda star Baser Amer said the Lions skipped practice on Friday, contending themselves doing shooting drills and viewing.
Del Rosario remains confident the Altas are prepared to atone for the first-round setback, where they rallied from an 18-point deficit only to fall short in the end.
“Ready na naman sila,” Del Rosario said. “Ang kailangan naman ng players namin motivation at will eh. Yung kondisyon, okay na ‘yun.”
The Lions hope to put the clamps on the Altas’ Big Three of Earl Thompson, Harold Arboleda, and Juneric Baloria.
“They have three of the best players in the league,” Fernandez said. “We just have to find a way to stop them.”
Mapua tries to continue riding the momentum of a late resurgence as it takes on a slumping and embattled Emilio Aguinaldo College side in the second game at 4 p.m..
The Cardinals have won their last three games and four of 14 games overall that enabled them to climb to eighth spot, while the Generals have lost six straight outings and 12 in all against three wins to drop to the bottom as their players have been embroiled in an internal dispute with management.