Lions fit to repeat
No stranger to pressure-packed scenarios, returning San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez last night expressed confidence that the Red Lions can pull off a title repeat in the NCAA next season.
Fernandez, who coached San Beda to two titles before spending the last two seasons calling the shots at NLEX in the PBA, was informed of his appointment by sportsman/businessman Manny V. Pangilinan, the chief backer of the Red Lions program.
Inheriting an almost intact lineup from the one that won the crown in the NCAA last October, Fernandez admitted he will still have his hands full in his second spell with the Lions, who only lost Dan Sara to graduation.
“I’m happy to be back with San Beda,” Fernandez told the Inquirer over the phone last night. “It will be a tough challenge because they are coming off a championship. I have big shoes to fill because coach Jamike (Jarin) really did a good job the past two years.”
In his first spell with the Lions in 2013, Fernandez was also appointed to the top coaching post, on the heels of a championship season piloted by then coach Ronnie Magsanoc.
Fernandez served as Magsanoc’s assistant in 2012.
Jarin is transferring to National University to coach the Bulldogs in the UAAP starting next season.
The transition won’t be as tough for Fernandez as some of the players he recruited to the program three years ago are still in the squad.
Power forward Jayvee Mocon, guards Radge Tongco and AC Soberano and Cameroonian forward Arnold Noah are among the Lions who Fernandez lured to the San Beda program in his first spell.
The first order of business for Fernandez will be forming the San Beda-Cignal PBA D-League team.