AFTER a dissappointing two-year stint as head coach of the NLEX Road Warriors in the Philippine Basketball Association Boyet Fernandez gets a chance to revive his coaching career after being named head coach of the San Beda Red Lions in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Fernandez faces a daunting challenge because only a title will be enough for the defending champion Red Lions. He will be considered a failure if he winds up with anything less.
It shouldn’t be too difficult for Fernandez though. He inherits a powerhouse lineup. Plus he’s no stranger to winning titles after leading this selfsame team to the NCAA throne in 2013 and 2014.
Fernandez, a pugnacious point guard during his playing days in the PBA, started his coaching career after his retirement in 2004. He became the assistant coach of Alfrancis Chua with the Sta. Lucia Realtors. He took on the job of head coach just before the start of the 2007 PBA Fiesta Conference.
He helped the franchise win its only PBA title during the 2008 PBA Philippine Cup. For his efforts he was named PBA Coach of the Year.
The Realtors were disbanded in 2010. He then took over the as head coach of the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons in the UAAP in 2010.
He was the coach of the NLEX Road Warriors when they joined the PBA D-League in 2011. He led the team to six championships in seven conferences. In 2013 he took over from Ronnie Magsanoc as coach of the Red Lions. The school won two NCAA titles under Fernandez.
NLEX purchased the Air21 franchise in the PBA in 2014 and Fernandez took on the job of head coach of the Road Warriors. Now two years down the road and Fernandez is back in Mendiola.
Fernandez met familiar faces when he returned to San Beda’s practice facility. Jayvee Mocon and Radge Tongco, two rookies in his last season with San Beda, are now the team’s go-to players. He met Cameroonians Donald Tankoua and Arnaud Noah as well as locals AC Soberano and Jomari Presbitero, players he himself recruited years ago.
The players may be the same but the San Beda strategy will definitely be different. Fernandez likes to employ a deliberate offense which will be a radical departure from coach Jarin’s up tempo, run and gun system.
Fernandez promised that he and the entire team will work hard to keep the championship in San Beda.
To hone his players even more Fernandez said he will include six San Beda players, including Fil-Am Davon Potts, Mocon and Robert Bolick, in a PBA D-League squad.
Fernandez is grateful for this chance at handling the Red Lions. Who knows? If he succeeds, maybe it will be enough to catapult him back to a PBA coaching job.
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