SAN Beda, a run and gun team that won the NCAA senior basketball title, will be taking it slow this season.
Comebacking coach Boyet Fernandez, who has regained the reins from Jamike Jarin after two years with NLEX in the PBA, said he is planning to keep the tempo more deliberate as he is planning to reinstitute his defense-first style of play he was known for when he steered the Lions to two NCAA titles in 2013 and 2014.
“I like Jamike’s fast-paced game and I will not change that in our offense. But we will have to slow things down a little bit because we will have to deliberate and disciplined in defense and not gamble too much,” said Fernandez.
Truly, San Beda led the league in the forcing teams to turn the ball over and scoring points, but it has allowed opposing squads to score 90 points.
“This year, we will have to cut it to just 70, which was about the same average our opponents have when I was still coaching here,” said Fernandez.
Upon his return to the Mendiola campus’ practice facility Thursday, Fernandez was reacquainted with Radge Tongco and Jayvee Mocon, who were rookies in his last season before he embarked on his PBA journey, and Cameroonians Donald Tankoua and Arnaud Noah, AC Soberano and Jomari Presbitero, the players he recruited in the second team back then.
The rest of the team is just new faces.
“We will have to start from scratch and really work harder to keep that championship in San Beda,” said Fernandez, who has yet to name his captains, but has decided to temporarily keep Presbitero and Tongco as skippers on an interim basis.
He also said he hasn’t decided which two of the three foreign players he’ll keep for Season 93 among Tankoua, Noah and rookie Nigerian Tuba Eugene.
Tankoua has been the team’s inside anchor before he fell to a season-ending ACL injury last season, while Noah has emerged the Finals MVP.
As for Tuba, he was the tallest and most athletic of the three and nearly won the slam dunk title in last year’s NCAA All-Stars.
Fernandez sees no problem though.
“I think it’s not a problem, it’s just a matter of seeing who fits my system and the team better,” he said.
Fernandez said they will participate in the PBA D-League where he will enlist six San Beda players, including Fil-Am Davon Potts, Mocon and Robert Bolick.
They are also eyeing to train in Las Vegas in the United States and compete in several tournaments in the country this summer to bolster their goal of defending the title.