After days of speculation, the reigning and defending NCAA titlists San Beda Red Lions will pounce through the NCAA Season 93 with a new coach in veteran chief Boyet Fernandez.
Fernandez was officially introduced as the Red Lions’ new coach just Sunday evening, and the long-time tactician is more than grateful for having been given another chance to steer the ship of the famed basketball program.
“I’m happy that Boss MVP still continues to trust me,” addressed Fernandez to the media regarding his new role after the 2016 PBA D-League Draft Tuesday afternoon at the PBA Cafe in Pasig City.
“I’m really excited to be back in San Beda,” added the two-time NCAA champion coach.
However, along with excitement also comes pressure, admitted Fernandez, as he is about to take over a team that has just recently brought the NCAA crown back to Mendiola last October.
“I’m inheriting a champion team. It’s really going to be tough to fill in the shoes left by coach Jamike (Jarin).
“Medyo pressure but pagtatrabahuhan natin para mag-champion ulit,” opened Fernandez.
And aside from pressure, another issue that Fernandez will have to face is his connection with the players, with almost all of his players from the 2013 squad he graced as a deputy to then-head coach Ronnie Magsanoc not around anymore.
“I was away from San Beda for two years. May ibang players pa ako noon na nasa team pa, nandoon na din ‘yung relationship. But still, I want to establish a good relationship with the players,” he vowed.
But despite such issues, Fernandez still remains positive that him and the Red Lions will have enough time to resolve those, as the Bedans will be fielded in the upcoming 2017 PBA D-League to banner new team Cignal, which he will also handle.
“Mas mapapabilis ‘yung transition ko kasi nasa D-League na ‘yung San Beda – medyo madali na kilalanin ‘yung mga bata in preparation for the NCAA.
With a seasoned mentor in Fernandez returning to the Lions’ Den, San Beda’s future and hopes of building another dynasty might not be within their reach, but might just be within their grasp.