Photo from Tristan Tamayo/Inquirer Sports.
Coach Boyet Fernandez is no stranger to high-stake games, but even the San Beda Red Lion’s coach was impressed with the Knights’ tremendous work ethic and intense game plan in their first ever match in Season 94.
“I know coming in the game it will be a tough one for us against Letran. I have so much respect, high respect for Coach Jeff,” Fernandez said in an interview with The LANCE.
“This was the first time that we played against the recruits [of Letran] this season so I know that he will be ready for us,” the mentor added.
Aside from having a talented and determined roster, Letran’s competitive play was also attributed to Coach Napa’s intense game plan at the helm of the most-awaited NCAA match.
Fernandez admitted that he struggled to lift past Letran in the second half, saying: “Muyang has been playing really well. He was a good recruit by Coach Jeff, also Fajarito and Batiller. Honestly, it’s a different team from last year.”
Despite being hobbled with the pressure given by Letran, San Beda, nonetheless, fired up late in the last period to force another deadlock.
“Calvo, as always, in the fourth quarter manned for Letran, Quinto did a good job as well. But it’s really Balanza who tried to destroy our penetration,” he remarked about Balanza. “It is important he scored big on his debut. That will give him much confidence.”
With his defensive plays, Fernandez then expects Balanza to gain a boost in confidence following the archrivals’ season debut.
He then noted that the support given by the students and the alumni was a big factor to the Mendiola-based squad’s victory.
“It’s really nice to play in a game where the alumni are there to support you. But then again, I have high regards for Letran. It’s a good team,” he ended.