MANILA—San Beda was where he learned to write—where he virtually grew up.
This time, Borgie Hermida is saying goodbye to his home for nearly two decades.
“This is where I learned everything I know,” said Hermida, clutching the 2010 NCAA basketball trophy in one hand and a piece of history in the other.
In one last act before leaving, Hermida again played a pivotal role for the Lions with 10 points, four rebounds and five assists as San Beda knocked San Sebastian off its throne with a sound 85-70 beating.
He will be best remembered, though, for his performance in the game that set up Friday’s clincher.
There, Hermida compiled 18 points, 13 boards and seven assists in a 93-73 statement rout of the Stags.
Now, the 5-foot-10 guard, a San Beda talent for 16 years, is well etched in NCAA hoops history after being a part of that three-peat from seasons 82 to 84 and being the cornerstone of the squad that logged an unprecedented 18-0 sweep of season 86.
“I think that this is the best way to graduate,” said the mythical five awardee, who has had five championship overall donning the red and white shirt, four in the seniors division and one in the juniors. He will now take his act to the PBA’s Barako Bull squad.
Indeed, there could have been no better way to end his career with the Lions. After getting physically tossed out of the finals last year by the Stags, Hermida had payback on his mind.
“I thought about that loss last year and it was my motivation in this game,” said Hermida. “But I didn’t want to hurt them physically (Stags). I just wanted to play my game.”
“I wasn’t able to play well last season because of my injury,” added Hermida, who clawed back to fighting shape after a second ACL injury—he’s had one on each knee—sidetracked him last year.
“I really wanted to make up for it so I grabbed every chance I could get this season,” Hermida added.
Hermida provided the leadership and quality presence coach Frankie Lim sought: He averaged around 11 points per game and over five assists and five rebounds despite even missing two games in the elimination round. He was the perfect complement to MVP center Sudan Daniel.
“That guy is tough,” said Lim. “Sometimes I have to tell him to slow down.”
As Hermida knocked down a three-pointer with over 30 ticks remaining, the flashbacks started racing through his mind and the minds of Bedan followers who watched the diminutive court general grow up before their very eyes.
“This is how I wanted to repay San Beda,” Hermida said.
After all, he came into San Beda a kid who didn’t know how to write. Fittingly, on his way out, he wrote the Lions’ name on the pages of NCAA history. Photo by Jan Dizon, NCAA.Org.ph
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