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Coach Boyet Fernandez puts full trust on Evan Nelle even though baller missed crucial free throws against Letran

by Jim Lemuel Wilson, August 10, 2019 5:11pm

San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez said that he is still putting all his trust on his point guard Evan Nelle even though the young star missed two free throws late against the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights that could have sealed the win for the Red Lions.

San Beda was up 70-63 when Allen Mina sent Nelle to the free throw line with 24.3 seconds left on the clock. Hitting the two charities would have ensured the win for the Red Lions, but Nelle missed both. Jerrick Balanza then hit a three-pointer that pulled the Knights to within 66-70 before they forced the Red Lions to commit a turnover. Luckily for San Beda, Balanza missed his next three-point attempt.

“We missed free throws. But I tell you this: even if Evan missed those free throws, he will still be my guy in the free throw line,” Fernandez told members of the media after the game.

“He just missed it tonight. Hopefully, we’ll recover from that. He missed those free throws tonight, I’m sure next time he’ll make it,” Fernandez said.

For his part, Nelle said that frustration got into him, causing him to lose focus late and miss those free throws in the game.

“I got frustrated din. I got off the game, parang nawala ako sa momentum, and I got really frustrated sa mga calls. So I have to work on it, kasi [coach Fernandez] trusts me. Especially those free throws, I have to make them,” Nelle said.

Fernandez also sang praises for all his players, with special mention on his bench guys.

“I’m happy with my players, how they did a good job. [Peter] Alfaro, special mention to my guys coming off the bench. Peter came up, Prince [Etrata] played good defense today, [JB] Bahio even though he had a foul on [Ato] Ular, he did a good job of taking care of [Larry] Muyang late in the fourth quarter,” Fernandez said.

“So my guys did a good job, Clint did a good job today, and again this guy,” the multi-titled coach added, pointing to Nelle.

Fernandez also sang praises for the Knights and head coach Bonnie Tan, and cautioned that the Red Lions have not accomplished anything yet even though they now carry a 5-0 win-loss slate. 

“Letran did a good job. I salute coach Bonnie [Tan] for this, but again, a win is a win for us. We still have tough teams ahead of us, Perpetual, Lyceum, St. Benilde, and Mapua so we haven’t won anything, we just won this game, fifth won game, but still a long way to go for us,” Fernandez said.

“Just enjoy tonight, enjoy rest, and be ready for Perpetual,” he added.

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