WHO needs an NCAA men’s basketball championship when you already have three, while a PBA and modeling career await for you?
But Anthony Semerad has proven he wants to end his collegiate career with San Beda with another crown after putting up a solid performance on both ends of the floor for the Red Lions in the Final Four against University of Perpetual Help.
The 23-year-old Filipino-Australian wingman registered 18 points, four boards, and one assist, but he also fared admirably in his unenviable task of defending the league’s top scorer in Juneric Baloria.
“I just wanted to push myself,” said the 23-year-old Semerad, who’s in his fourth and last year in the league. “I just want to give it everything I got on both ends.”
Baloria still scored 20 points, but the lefty guard had to take 23 shots to reach his total as Semerad huffed and puffed in shadowing him all-game long.
“It’s just pride,” Semerad said. “I wanted to be a good defensive player for coach, so I just want to show what I have.”
San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez admitted despite his player’s 6-foot-4 frame, Semerad was a liability on defense in his first three years in the league.
He was also not a threat on offense, averaging just 3.5 points, on 27-percent three-point shooting and 1.6 rebounds in 13.1 minutes last season.
But Semerad has stepped up in the departure of former skipper and defensive stopper Rome dela Rosa, becoming the powerhouse team’s fourth-leading scorer with 8.9 points per game, on 41-percent three-point shooting and 3.5 boards in 22.1 minutes this year.
“Anthony before is not a defensive player, but he came in this season as a defensive player and a scorer,” Fernandez said of the seventh overall pick in this year’s PBA draft by Grand Slam champion San Mig Coffee, which traded him to Globalport. “I think his team in the PBA will have an advantage in him.”
But the Lions mentor hopes his ward, who also dabbles in show business, ends his collegiate career with another title first.
“I hope he finishes his career with a championship.”
“You’ve been working hard all year to get here and you just want to finish it and do everything you can to get the championship,” Semerad said.