Rare San Beda NCAA title sweep not on Fernadez's mind
(Flying V Centre, San Juan)
10 a.m. – EAC vs. Mapua (non-bearing)
12 p.m. – CSB-LSGH vs. AU (playoff for No. 4)
MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in five years as San Beda coach, Boyet Fernandez will have a crack at an NCAA title sweep.
But for Fernandez, he just wants a title whether it’s a sweep or not.
“The goal is to just win the championship, that’s our biggest concern right now,” said Fernandez, whose Lions swept the elimination round in 18 games to automatically advance the best-of-three finals starting November 12 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Fernandez is on his fifth season with the Lions and won four championships along the way. Of those conquests, he has never experienced a sweep.
This marked the first time he will have a chance to accomplish such feat last done by the same San Beda nine seasons ago under then coach Frankie Lim.
Fernandez, however, thinks pondering too much of the potential sweep could backfire on them just like what happened to Lyceum of the Philippines University, which swept all 18 elimination round games before being swept by San Beda in the finals two years ago.
“It will be added pressure to think so much of the sweep. The right attitude is just to take it one game at a time and not thinking ahead that too much,” said Fernandez.
The sweep reduced the Final Four to a stepladder semis with No. 3 Letran (12.6) battling No. 4 San Sebastian (11-7) with the winner clashing with No. 2 LPU (13-5) for the right to battle the top-seeded San Beda in the finale.
Meanwhile, La Salle-Greenhills and Arellano will battle for the last Final Four spot as the two collide at 12 p.m. Tuesday.
The Junior Blazers and Braves actually ended up tied in a three-team tie for No. 3 with San Sebastian Staglets but the latter emerged with the highest quotient that sent the former two to a knockout showdown.
The winner of the LSGH-AU duel will tackle top seed San Beda while the other Final Four match pits No. 2 LPU with No. 3 SSC.
Both the Red Cubs and Junior Pirates enjoy a twice-to-beat edge.