BOYET Fernandez admitted San Beda’s big men will be tested to the hilt against De La Salle in the two team’s championship showdown for the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup title on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan.
Unlike before when they have major frontcourt edge owing to the presence of Nigerian center Ola Adeogun, the Red Lions suddenly found themselves at a disadvantage inside the paint against the Green Archers going to their 4 p.m. winner-take-all clash.
“It’s really a big test for us due to the fact that if you count their bigs, probably eight players are above 6-4,” said the San Beda coach.
“It’s a tough match-up for my bigs. But I do trust my bigs. We will be ready,” said Fernandez, who will rely on other players including Art Dela Cruz, Kyle Pascual, and Dave Semerad to neutralize La Salle’s imposing frontcourt of Arnold Van Opstal, Norbert Torres, and Jason Perkins.
The Lions earned the right to face the Archers for the championship game after defeating Centro Escolar University, 63-62, on Friday in the semifinals.
The Archers, on the other hand, defeated Southwestern University, 72-64, in their own Final Four pairing.
“It’s always nice to play against San Beda because they are the champion of the NCAA,” La Salle coach Juno Sauler said.
But since taking Sauler took over at the start of the 2013 season, Fernandez said he has not won against La Salle. The closest the Lions came at beating the Archers came last year when their benefit game for victims of typhoon `Yolanda’ ended in a draw.
“We have to limit our fouls especially my bigs so that we can really match up well with the bigs of La Salle,” said Fernandez.
Dela Cruz said he looks forward at playing a strong La Salle team before the Lions plunge in Season 90 of the NCAA where they are the defending men’s champion.
“Magandang preparation sa amin ito dahil masyado silang malakas. We can run them out. Ang lamang siguro namin is takbuhan namin sila. We will just do our best even with our one-day preparation,” Dela Cruz said.