MANILA, Philippines – Former San Beda head coach Frankie Lim is "extremely happy" for the Red Lions even as he missed a chance to make history with the squad in the 88th season of the NCAA.
The Red Lions captured their third straight NCAA title – and their 17th overall – after defeating the Letran Knights in three games in the Season 88 Finals. In Game Three, San Beda showed their championship experience, routing the Knights 67-39.
"I'm extremely happy for the team, and of course, my son. It was very touching what Melo mentioned on TV after the game," Lim said in an interview with Joaquin Henson of The Philippine Star.
"I had a good feeling we would win it, but I didn’t expect the margin to be close to 30 points," he added.
It was the first championship for rookie head coach Ronnie Magsanoc, who took over the reins in San Beda after Lim resigned before the start of the season.
Lim had been involved in a brawl with San Sebastian volleyball coach Roger Gorayeb at the San Beda gym, which resulted in both coaches getting suspended from the league for two seasons. Lim later resigned from the team.
Lim said he has no regrets about missing out on a historical season with the Red Lions.
"That's all in the past, it's over. No such thing as mixed emotions. I was just happy for the team, that my son ended his varsity career with a championship, that he was successful," Lim said.
"My consolation is when I began coaching San Beda, Letran had more championships than us, 16-12. I won four titles in my five seasons as coach and with Ronnie’s title, we’re now one up on Letran, 17-16," he added.
Lim also commended Magsanoc's coaching philosophy, even as it differed from his own.
"Ronnie has always believed that defense wins championships, and it worked," he told Henson. "During my time, we usually scored a lot of points."
"Now, we score less, but the other team, even lower. Credit Ronnie for that," Lim said.
Magsanoc’s coaching philosophy was evident in the finals, when the Red Lions shut down Letran’s explosive backcourt of Kevin Alas and Mark Cruz.
"I've always felt that to beat Letran, we had to limit the production of Kevin Alas and Mark Cruz. We did that in Game 3," Lim said.