Mike Nieto thankful he still got to guard ‘best player’ Teng

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 04, 2016 03:06 PM
Mike Nieto thankful he still got to guard ‘best player’ Teng
ENFORCER. Ateneo's Mike Nieto is relishing the remaining moments there is for him to get up in the face of DLSU's Jeron Teng.

Jeron Teng is nothing but determined to leave behind another championship in De La Salle University.

Standing in his way is Ateneo de Manila University.

And literally standing in his way most of the time is Mike Nieto.

The second-year forward has drawn the unenviable task of trying to stay in front and stand his ground against the Green Archers’ captain. Asked to react to his responsibility on defense, he answered, “It’s a challenge siyempre. Guarding the best player in the league is very hard, but I’m up for the challenge.”

The former Finals MVP was out with an injury in DLSU’s rout of the Blue Eagles in the first round.

In their second round meeting, coach Tab Baldwin tasked the player formerly known as “Big Mike” to be one of his defenders for Teng. There, the former had 18 points in 35 percent shooting and saw his Archers get beaten for the first and only time thus far in the tournament.

In Game 1 of the Finals, Nieto, along with Thirdy Ravena, went right back to guarding Teng.

DLSU’s main man wound up with only 10 points, but two of those were what proved to be the difference between the two teams.

While the results for his team have been mixed, the sophomore Eagle said it can only be a good thing for him to try and try to stop whom he calls the “best player in the league.” As he put it, “I’m really blessed na naabuan ko pa si Jeron at nabantayan ko siya kasi andami and marami akong matututunan dun.”

He was quick to add, however, “Pero ‘di talaga ako magba-back down sa kanya o sa kanila.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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