Ex-Eagles say they hit jackpot in getting mentored by Tab Baldwin

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 07, 2019 10:41 AM
Ex-Eagles say they hit jackpot in getting mentored by Tab
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

The 2019 PBA Draft looks like it will be yet another win for Ateneo de Manila University.

With six Blue Eagles having declared and having good to great shots at turning their PBA dream into reality, the rookie selection process on Sunday may very well be yet another feather in the cap of the three-peat UAAP champions.

Of course, those six know full well that they wouldn't be in the position they are now in if not for one person - head coach Tab Baldwin. "Coach Tab, kaming lima, we hit the jackpot with him," longtime captain Mike Nieto said.

He then continued, "He wanted us to become good players here in college, but looking forward, he wanted us to become better professional players."

Mike and twin Matt as well as Isaac Go and Adrian Wong spent the last four years of their collegiate careers under Baldwin's watchful eye.

Aaron Black and Vince Tolentino, two more draft hopefuls from Ateneo, also had more than a few years learning from the American-Kiwi coach.

And as it turns out, teaching his boys and turning them into PBA-ready talents is the ultimate goal of coach Tab. "Yung goal nga niya, hindi naman mag-champion. Kung tatanungin niyo siya, ang goal niya is ma-draft kami," Mike said.

He then continued, "Hopefully, mangyari yun, but at the same time, we're just blessed and grateful that coach Tab is our head coach."

Twin Matt only shared the same sentiment of being blessed and grateful to have played for the brilliant tactician. As he put it, "Always, we just want to say thank you kay coach Tab kasi he made us better basketball players and better people. Kung hindi dahil sa kanya, wala rin kami rito."

He then continued, "I really thank him. I will never forget him."

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