In my previous blog about San Beda, I mentioned why the Red Lions can win the championship despite losing Sudan Daniel. Now that they won, let's check out who stepped out for San Beda.
1. Mar Villahermosa
Oh, I think I missed out on this guy on my previous post, and it seemed like he read it. So in the Finals, he told me through his performance, "Pareng Ivan, nakalimutan mo ata ako!" The transferee from the University of San Jose-Recoletos, a member of another prestigious league, CESAFI, fired 15 points and carried the scoring load for the Lions with Garvo Lanete having an off-night (Really!?). Thats enough for him to win the best player honors. Talk about unsung hero.
2. Anjo Caram
Here's another under-the-radar guy in my AFC blog who contributed well in the Finals. Caram, the veteran point guard of coach Frankie Lim, made sure he will utilize his playing minutes properly, scoring 10, and taking care of the dirty work after Baser Amer's own not-so-good performance. A cardinal rule in championship basketball: trust your senior stars.
3. Dave Marcelo
I remember one time when we discussed who should emerge for San Beda when they entangle with San Sebastian anew (that was early in the 2nd round at that time), and I said it will be Gabo. My friend Tommy said it will be Dave Marcelo, and he was right after all. Marcelo, the eventual PSBank-NCAA Finals MVP, dominated the paint and made sure that he will not risk re-injuring Sudan Daniel's ACL with an 16 points, 27 rebounds, and 2 emphatic blocks during the entire series. As he exits from the Lions' den probably to the PBA or maybe even to the MBA if the rumored reforming of the league is true, some teams must take hold of this guy in the first round.
4. David Semerad
I told you he will shine! David Semerad got the better of his twin brother Anthony in earlier's title clincher. He amassed 15 markers and 3 boards in that win. Now that we have seen the potentials of both the twins Semerad, you might expect either of these guys starting at the 3-spot for the Lions.
5. Frankie Lim
With all due respect, I want to say this: I would rather have Michael Robinson winning the coach of the year rather than coach Frankie Lim, but I will still give a hats-off to him. Why? He has the true character of a good coach. Their 26-game winning streak snapped by Baste? He reamined composed. JRU walloped them by 11? He stayed calm. Seeing his Red Lions struggle against the somewhat rugged style of play of the Golden Stags, he said to his players, "Stay focused in the game." What happened? His team ended up 2nd to none. Overcoming the pressures, that's what made him the coach of the year.
No Sudan Daniel? Garvo Lanete not 100% because of fever? No problem! San Beda played their hearts out, and they're now at the so-called 7th heaven of the NCAA. Congrats San Beda!
Postscript: In his post-game interview with ABSCBN's Anton Roxas, coach Frankie said that he told his players to play the game as if this will be their final game in the NCAA. Did I hear it right? Their plans of moving to the UAAP has been a talk of the town for quite some time. Interesting!