Eagles ‘not that interested’ with who’s on scoring column

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 12, 2016 09:00 PM
Eagles ‘not that interested’ with who’s on scoring column
TOTAL TEAM EFFORT. For the nth time, a different player was at the top of the scoring column for Ateneo.

With five wins in a row, Ateneo de Manila University is the hottest team now in the stretch run of the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Just as they have exceeded expectations, however, much, much more is also being looked for from the Blue Eagles. As head coach Tab Baldwin put it, “I think we understand that the expectations have begun to escalate a bit. It’s unfair, but that’s life.”

He then continued, “It’s up to us to live to those expectations, but more importantly, we have to live up to our own expectations.”

The good news is that already standing at solo second, the young kids from Katipunan are only scratching the surface of what they could accomplish. “This season has certainly a lot of firsts for this group of players, but we have to continue to realize that we should also continue to learn,” he said.

Proving to be a deft hand at the controls, the American-Kiwi has extracted contributions from up and down the Ateneo lineup which is turning out to be one of the deepest in the league. In fact, in almost all of their assignments, they can count on at least one player to break out.

From Thirdy Ravena, Aaron Black, and Anton Asistio in the first round to Adrian Wong, George Go, and Matt Nieto in the second round, the Eagles are proving to have a recipe for success with their balance. “Our team is full of good players. I kinda laugh at some of the remarks I hear about how this player steps up in this game, how that player steps up in that game,” he shared.

He then continued, “What the hell are they supposed to do? That’s their job – to come out and play.”

Baldwin then went on to say that from the get-go, their attack does not rely on one particular player. As he put it, “We try to take what the defense gives us. That’s what explains why different players are probably featured in different games.”

In the end, however, it’s the selflessness of the Eagles themselves that makes everything work. “The players understand that the scoring is only for you guys and they’re not that interested on it. They understand that they have to play defense and rebound the ball because that’s what should be our style of play,” he expressed.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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