Herald the Bedans
Coach Boyet Fernandez knows how to use every slight—real or imagined—to motivate the San Beda Red Lions.
With a three-peat in their sights, Fernandez focused on one particular putdown.
“The chatter ‘You can’t win with CJ [Perez playing]’ fueled us,” Fernandez said.
San Beda reasserted its mastery over Lyceum in the grandest stage of NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) men’s basketball tournament, rewriting history once more by hoisting its 11th seniors title in 13 seasons and 22nd overall with a 71-56 victory on Monday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“My team played well. Don’t take that away from them. This game the mantra was ‘Let’s prove ourselves that we can beat Lyceum with CJ there,” Fernandez said.
The Lions controlled the game from the start and weathered the Pirates’ challenge the rest of the way to sweep Lyceum in two games.
San Beda won its third straight crown—second against Lyceum. Fernandez wanted his Lions to be unshakeable in their faith that they could beat the Pirates even with Perez around.
“And they showed that today. Hopefully, it all erases [the doubts],” he added.
Javee Mocon will leave the San Beda campus with the Season 94 Finals Most Valuable Player trophy. He spearheaded a blistering start by the Lions in the first half, nailing three of his four treys there, en route to 16 points and 11 rebounds.
“This is all the product of the preparation and the scouting,” said Fernandez, whose squad led by as many as 20 points. “We’ve always been there every game of Lyceum. I always watch them live to see how coach Topex (Robinson) adjusts.”
Donald Tankoua had 13 points and 16 boards—his 12th double-double this season—while Clint Doliguez registered 14 points on a
5-for-7 shooting clip.
Robert Bolick, who like Mocon and Tankoua played their final NCAA game, had a quiet four points but made his presence felt with 12 assists.
Suspended in Game 1 after applying for the PBA Draft without informing the NCAA, Perez was hounded by three fouls in the first half. He finished with 19 points.
Earlier, Perpetual Help’s Prince Eze snared four awards, including the season MVP trophy.
The 6-foot-10 Nigerian also took home the Defensive Player of the Year plum and was a part of the All-Defensive and Mythical teams.
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