Expecting a dogfight vs Lyceum, San Beda gets rest before work begins
San Beda is just days away from the biggest games in the NCAA Season 94 men’s basketball tournament as it stakes its championship against Season 93 runner-up Lyceum in the finals.
The Red Lions are on course for a third straight title, their 11th title in 13 years and head coach Boyet Fernandez is readying his squad for an absolute dogfight against the Pirates.
And one way of doing that is by giving his players some quality rest.
Fernandez said he gave his players Wednesday and Thursday off so they clear up their minds from the stress of the NCAA finals and prepare them for a few days of hellish practices before Game 1 on Nov. 6.
“We have to rest because we’re expecting a dogfight in the finals because Lyceum has that pressure defense,” said Fernandez in a phone conversation with Inquirer. “We have to be ready physically, and emotionally we have to be relaxed, rested, and healthy.”
Fernandez gave the two days off so his players can go back to their families and commemorate All Saints’ Day, which has been a tradition for Filipinos, before going back to work.
The three-time NCAA champion coach added that even though they swept the Pirates for the Season 93 crown and won in the second round of Season 94, they always have to be wary of a more matured Lyceum in the title round.
Fernandez pointed out how the Pirates ousted Letran in a dominant fashion, 109-85, while the Red Lions needed a jolt in the fourth quarter to beat the Knights, 74-68, in their last meeting.
The Red Lions held a 22-point lead, 67-45, early in the fourth quarter but allowed Letran to cut the lead down before the buzzer saved them from utter collapse.
“Lyceum murdered Letran in the Final Four, while we led Letran by 20 in the last six minutes but that lead was cut down,” said Fernandez in Filipino. “And I think our win against the Pirates in the second round was a factor why they played that way against Letran.”
San Beda split its season series with Lyceum losing 73-66 in the first round but winning 75-68 in the second meeting.
“I’m actually nervous because the Lyceum team that beat Letran was different from the one we beat,” said Fernandez. “Hopefully we can find a way to limit Lyceum.”
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