Lions ready to roar 'four' more
Aldo Avinante (The Philippine Star) - June 20, 2013 - 2:12pm

MANILA, Philippines -- Newly-installed San Beda Head Coach Boyet Fernandez believes that the Red Lions will have a tough season in the coming NCAA Season 89 wars. But he remains unfazed believing that his team has what it takes to roar for more.  

The former PBA player-turned champion coach knows that there will be a huge target on their backs as the Red Lions go for a historic four-peat this year.

"The NCAA will be very competitive this year . All of the teams have improved but I took this job because I believe in San Beda and think that we have a good chance to defend our championship," said Fernandez, a former PBA guard.

"By the time the tournament starts, we will be 100% ready but our mindset is we have a day-to-day preparation and we are taking it one step at a time," he added.

Fernandez will replace last year's champion coach Ronnie Magsanoc as the Red Lion's lead bench tactician. Fernandez said that his system will not deviate much from last season's success.

"Si Coach Ronnie magkasama naman kami niyan sa Meralco Bolts sa PBA kaya we will use the same system. I just want to emphasize to the boys that we have to be a defensive team more than anything," said Fernandez, who also coaches the NLEX Road Warriros in the PBA D-League.

"We will definitely run more on offense but it all starts on our defense, we will win games as long as we stay within our defensive mentality," he added.

Fernandez is confident that a four-peat is achievable citing their intact lineup along with the comebacking Semerad twins and impressive rookies.

"Rome and Kyle will be the leaders of the team while Ola is going to play hard as always in the inside for us. Baser Amer has blossomed into a scorer in the pre-season but he will always be our lead guard and distributor," said Fernandez of the Mendiola-based core.

"The Semerad twins will be back this year to provide versatility and athleticism on our offsensive and defensive ploys, plus I have a good rookie coming in Abarcar," he added.

Fernandez pointed out several teams that will be a threat to their title defense in Season 89 underscoring this year's theme "Our stars will shine".

"Arellano will be very tough.  We lost to them in a one-point game in the Fil-oil. I also think Letran is going to be tough. I saw their game against NU and they lost by only one point, they really played well as a team," said Fernandez.

He also pointed to Perpetual and this season's host College of St. Benilde as the teams, who have improved while he considers Mapua as dark horse owing to its impressive pre-season showing in Cebu. 

With history and the team's legacy on the line, Fernandez will leave no stone unturned in their hunt for the school's fourth straight NCAA title.

"San Beda will always be ready every game.  We will prepare hard for all the teams and never underestimate anyone," Fernandez said.  "It's going to be tough but I assure you in every game we will be playing 100 percent.".

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