MANILA, Philippines -- San Beda University will celebrate its remarkable sweep of the NCAA Season 95 elimination round -- but only for a night.
San Beda dominated Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU), 85-62, on Thursday night to complete a perfect campaign in the eliminations, propelling them straight to the best-of-3 finals. The rest of the semifinalists will battle in a stepladder format to determine their opponent.
"As what I've always said, I'll just enjoy this tonight, then I'll look forward to the finals," Fernandez said after their comprehensive victory.
"My job is not yet done, our job is not yet done," he stressed.
Fernandez pointed out that as impressive as their win was, they defeated a Lyceum team that was playing without big man Mike Nzeusseu due to injury.
"If we're gonna face an LPU team in the finals, and Nzeusseu is healthy, it will be a tough game for us," he said.
He also expects third-seeded Colegio de San Juan de Letran to be dangerous, should they reach the finals, and is wary of Mapua University and San Sebastian College -- the two teams contesting the fourth seed.
"It will be a tough finals, whoever we gonna face," he said.
Moreover, Fernandez still has vivid memories of what happened to the last team to sweep the elimination round. The Pirates also went 18-0 in Season 93 -- only to lose to the finals to the Red Lions.
"What happened to LPU, it's a learning curve for us," said Fernandez. "Remember, they swept the eliminations, then they lost two straight."
"So, when I entered the dugout, I always tell them, yes let's enjoy this one. But learn the lesson from what happened to LPU two years ago, three years ago. So we should be ready for the finals," he added.
The Red Lions will have a long break before they compete again, as the playoffs won't start until November 5. The finals will start at November 12 at the earliest, giving Fernandez plenty of time to prepare his team.
He has already given the Red Lions three days off, but they will return to work on Monday.
"We'll probably look for practice games, so that we can be sharp," said Fernandez. "We want to really prepare ourselves for the finals."
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