NCAA: San Beda coach accuses Mapua of intentionally hitting his playersBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines — San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez lashed out on Mapua after the Red Lions’ 78-53 rout of the Cardinals Monday night in a highly-physical affair that saw one ejection and four unsportsmanlike fouls.
Fernandez was livid moments after the game claiming that the Cardinals went overboard and tried to “hurt or probably injure” his players.
“Hindi na basketball yon. Sinuntok sa sikmura si David (Semerad) tapos si Kyle (Pascual) tinitira nila. It’s not basketball. I have so much respect to coach Atoy (Co) but I don’t know. Kilala ko si coach Atoy. I’m sure hindi gagawin ng player nila yun kung walang signal. So hindi ko alam kung kanino galing yon. Mga players actually mga bata pa yan. Kung hindi tuturuan yan hindi naman gaganon yan,” Fernandez claimed.
“I have so much regard and respect also to the referees especially to coach Joe (Lipa) and their staff. This physicality is out of bounds, physicality is basketball but its roughness, sobra na.”
Things started to heat up between the two teams in the second half. San Beda center Ola Adeogun and Mapua big man Jessie Saitanan got tangled up in the third quarter with the two players getting slapped with an unsportsmanlike foul.
The Red Lions’ other center Kyle Pascual then got ejected after picking up his second unsportsmanlike foul after shoving Cardinals’ Jeson Cantos above the shoulder area.
“If ever I will appeal for Kyle’s two flagrant fouls hopefully the ManCom (management committee) will see that we’re not the instigators; they are. Hindi naman kami nag-umpisa nun sila naman e. Nagkataon na all our fouls are flop. We’re trying to appeal for Kyle Pascual’s flagrant fouls,” said Fernandez.
Two unsportsmanlike fouls merits an automatic one-game suspension under league rules.
Fernandez’ claims didn’t stop there.
The former PBA mentor also said that someone punched his Fil-Australian forward Anthony Semerad on the head in the fourth quarter.
Semerad went down — laying on his back in pain — after catching a hard screen. He was subbed out and did not return after experiencing some dizziness.
“We’ll have to check him. We’ll send him to the hospital after this one. The players will not do that kung walang signal yon,” said Fernandez.
“Hindi ko namang sinasabi na Mapua, hindi ko namang sinasabi na si coach Atoy may gusto nun but the other coaches there, they’re players before. They’re trying to hurt Ola, they’re trying to hurt my players, so ano’ng gagawin naming? I feel sorry for my players but winning this game is a statement for them even though they were trying to hurt them.
“My players have so much respect for their former coaches, I believe in that. But the way they did it to my players, hindi ko ma-explain because I, myself can say na hindi ko gagawin sa mga players yon. Masakit lang, titirahin ninyo mga players ko e ang babata noon,” Fernandez added, who was pertaining to Mapua assistant coaches Ed Cordero and Bonnie Garcia.
Cordero and Garcia served as assistant coaches in San Beda under former head coach Frankie Lim.
“Pinag-usapan lang namin sa loob ng court na magiging physical talaga yung Mapua. Diyan sila nabubuhay sa physical (play). So we need to adjust. We’re ready naman,” said Lions’ forward Art dela Cruz, who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Fernandez added that his players didn’t hit back and instead just let the final score do the talking.
“They wanted to make a statement. I told them that the only way you can get back at them is by winning by a big margin. That’s a statement. Even though they’re trying to hurt or probably injure them, they played, they’re composed and we won by a big mile.”
Co had already left the venue when INQUIRER.net tried to reach him for comment while the rest of the Cardinals’ coaching staff refused to talk regarding the matter.