BEST OF 5 PART 4: Credit to coach Boyet Fernandez, says San Beda
Coach Boyet Fernandez accounts for about a third of San Beda's 10 championships in the last 12 years
Read Part 1 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the San Beda Red Lions here.
Read Part 2 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the San Beda Red Lions here.
Read Part 3 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the San Beda Red Lions here.
Read Part 5 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the San Beda Red Lions here.
San Beda College has not only had top-tier players through its dynastic 12-year run, it has also had top-level coaches.
Of the 10 championships in 12 years they have won, Frankie Lim called the shots for four, Boyet Fernandez led the way for three, and all of Koy Banal, Jamike Jarin, and Ronnie Magsanoc had one apiece.
Next year, Fernandez has a chance to match Lim’s total.
While that is not yet sure to happen, there is one thing that Fernandez is sure to do: just as he has always had, he will deflect all the praise away from himself.
FOR AND AGAINST
From then to now and onto the future, reporters are certain to hear the very same first four words in each and every one of Fernandez’s post-game conferences: “Credit to the boys.”
From the times of Ola Adeogun and Baser Amer before to Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon now, the Red Lions’ mentor never fails to make it known that all the wins are because of his boys.
He will also make it a point to laud the effort of their opponents and his counterpart coach.
In fact, just in the most recent season, he had nothing but good words for Lyceum of the Philippines University’s Topex Robinson, San Sebastian College-Recoletos’ Egay Macaraya, and archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s Jeff Napa – coaches of teams which have trained their targets on toppling the Mendiola dynasty.
BECAUSE OF YOU
After steering San Beda to perhaps its most dramatic title since its drought-ending one in 2006, however, the players themselves are saying it’s high time to give Fernandez his due.
“Coach Boyet really deserves this championship. I want to thank coach Boyet dahil siya ang nagtulak sa aking mag-grow sa basketball,” Robert Bolick said. “Ginawa niya akong MVP. Kaya na ako ganito dahil sa kanya.”
Bolick had a solid first season in red and white under Jarin in 2016, but truly blossomed under the watch of Fernandez in 2017.
From a defensive stopper, the heady guard transformed himself into a complete player and had himself recognized as PBA D-League MVP as well as one of the top talents in the NCAA.
BELIEVE WHAT I SAY
Not only that, Bolick has also proven himself to be one of the most clutch players in all of college.
The 21-year-old dropped seven points in the last two minutes in Game 1 of the Finals and then scored seven points in the last five minutes in Game 2.
And perhaps there was no shot that defined all they had to overcome than this cold-blooded triple from “Big Shot Bolick.”
As it turns out, those shots may not have gone in if not for Fernandez. “Since the start of the season kasi, coach Boyet wants us to shoot before and after training. He always tells me na I can shoot from the outside kaya ayan, nakita na nga natin,” Bolick said.
WE GOT THIS
For that full faith, the Red Lions promised to win the championship for their mentor – even though just about everybody was seeing a historic season from the then league-leading Pirates. “Noong natalo kami (ng LPU) two times, nag-team building kami and I told coach na he’s going to have to trust us. For me, for all of us, the only thing na makakabawi kami for coach for everything he’s done, is with the championship,” Bolick shared.
He then continued, “I always told him, ‘I got you.’ Para sa kanya talaga ‘to.”
True to form, however, right after they finally won that dramatic title, Fernandez made it a point to mention his predecessor for setting the table for him. “Coach Jamike is a very good coach and he won a championship for San Beda. Kaya nga sabi ko dati pa, I will defend the crown for him,” he said.
Next year, it will be the crown he won himself that he will be defending.
By then, there is no doubt whatsoever that Fernandez will be giving credit where credit is due – just not for himself.
And for him, there is no place he’d rather be doing that in than Mendiola – for now until the foreseeable future. “Sana I’ll continue to coach San Beda. Of course, it will be up to the bosses and I will respect whatever their decision will be,” he said.
He then continued, “But if I will be asked to stay with San Beda, pwede bang lifetime na?”
Boyet Fernandez, lifetime head coach of San Beda?
Sounds good to us.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.