MANILA, Philippines – For the 11th time in the last 13 years, the San Beda Red Lions are the NCAA champions after sweeping the Lyceum Pirates for the second-straight season, Monday, November 12.
Javee Mocon finished his NCAA career with 4 seniors’ championships and nabbed the Finals MVP award after dropping a team-high 16 points and 5 blocks to go with 11 rebounds.
Robert Bolick, meanwhile, made up for a dismal 1/11 (9%) shooting night by dishing a game-high 12 assists and wrapping up his NCAA stint with 3 titles in the bag.
Amiable head coach Boyet Fernandez also collected his fifth NCAA title in his first three-peat with the team.
Fernandez was expectedly all smiles in the post-game interview, but turned serious for a while after being asked about the controversial CJ Perez suspension issue.
And he had a fiery response to people saying they couldn’t win while Perez is leading the Pirates.
“Did you remember that we beat LPU in the second round with CJ there? And he only scored 9 points against us, right?” he said.
“‘Di naman kasalanan ng San Beda na ma-suspend [si CJ] (It’s not San Beda’s fault that CJ was suspended) because it’s already in the rules, and if we discuss everything here, I think LPU will already realize that they’re at fault with that.”
San Beda was inevitably dragged to the issue after Perez was suspended for Game 1 of the Finals for failing to formally inform the NCAA of his application to the PBA draft.
But Coach Fernandez wanted to clear things up that their side wanted no part of that controversy at all, even though they’ve already proved last year that they can sweep Lyceum with Perez there.
Even Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson believed their adversaries had nothing to do with it.
“Again, it’s not the fault of San Beda. We never even joined the voting, we didn’t even [join] at the deliberations,” Fernandez said.
“But again, you also have to give credit to my players because without my players, we’ll not win that Game 1. To be honest, what they’re saying that [we] cannot win without CJ fueled us because my players played well, come to think of it. Don’t take that away from my players.”
Perez played well in what would turn out to be his final game in the NCAA, tallying 19 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. This only validated San Beda’s Game 2 win even more.
“They played really hard for that game. This game, that’s really their mantra,” Fernandez said. “Let’s prove to ourselves that we can beat LPU with CJ there. And they showed that today. Hopefully, it will erase everything.” – Rappler.com