THE tournament staff had packed up and was already playing a pickup-game with members of the media when the San Beda coaching staff finally emerged from the team's dugout at The Arena.
It took more than an hour for the coaches to discuss and dissect how the Red Lions lost an eight-point lead entering the fourth quarter and wound up bowing to the La Salle Green Archers, 71-66, in the title match of the Filoil Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup on Sunday.
Baser Amer finished with 23 points, while Art Dela Cruz had a double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds but the Red Lions threw away their chance at bagging a first-ever title in four appearances in the preseason tournament.
Simply put, San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez said the Red Lions lost to a team which made the plays in the crucial stretch. The Red Lions were up by as many as 12 in the contest and were ahead, 56-48, at the end of the third quarter.
But Almond Vosotros, Arnold Van Opstal and Jason Perkins spearheaded La Salle’s comeback, outscoring San Beda, 23-10, in the final quarter to come away with the Filoil title.
“Congratulations to La Salle,” said Fernandez. “They did execute well in the endgame.”
San Beda has been to title games in the NCAA, and several team members have even won championships with NLEX in the PBA D-League, but Fernandez said they failed to show poise in the endgame against the Archers.
“We are used to playing back-to-back games. Maybe we do lack the maturity and poise in the endgame like decision-making, where to pass, when to shoot, and where to go. Sa amateur kasi, you can’t call a timeout if ball is in play so diskarte talaga ng player,” said Fernandez.
Nevertheless, Fernandez says lessons were definitely learned by the Red Lions in the defeat and they could use that as they go for a fifth straight NCAA title in Season 90.
“We will come out a better team, better players and coaches after this kind of game. We learned so many lessons in this tournament especially in this game. It will help us to get ready for the NCAA,” said Fernandez.