Yes, undefeated league-leader Ateneo can still get better

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 25, 2017 09:14 AM
Yes, undefeated league-leader Ateneo can still get better
FAR FROM OVER. Ateneo will only keep its foot on the pedal as it hopes to protect its spotless slate.

Ateneo de Manila University blasted Adamson University, 85-65, for its first win in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Ateneo then outclassed University of the Philippines, 92-71, for back-to-back wins to begin its campaign

Ateneo then schooled Far Eastern University, 94-82, for a 3-0 start to the season.

And on Sunday, Ateneo routed University of the East, 83-65, to move into a place alone atop the leaderboard.

That’s a 17.8-point winning margin for the Blue Eagles.

However, the four double-digit wins in a row is far, far away from their minds. “We’re not really looking at the outcome of the game in terms of points. I’m not saying I’m surprised, I’m not saying I’m not,” coach Sandy Arespacochaga said.

What matters for the pacesetters is being consistent whatever the result of their assignments may be. “We’re looking at the game in detail and if we happen to win by a lot, thank you. But the most important thing that we want to see from our team is we’ll be consistent,” Arespacochaga said.

He then continued, “And hopefully, the wins will come – whether it be by two points or a big lead.”

So far, so good for Ateneo as Thirdy Ravena has been doing it all each and every game while players from rookie Tyler Tio to veteran Aaron Black have also been contributing.

Still, the Blue Eagles believe they can get better. As the mentor put it, “After this game, we’re gonna take a look at film and see the things that we did correct, but more importantly, we’re also gonna look at things. There are a lot of things that we can still improve on.”

Indeed, the Katipunan-based squad can do a lot better in assists where it ranks sixth, steals where it ranks eighth, and fastbreak points where it ranks seventh.

Also, guys like Mike Nieto and Isaac Go, who both made big strides a season ago, are bound make more impact as well.

And when that happens, the league-leaders will, without a doubt, only be better – a much welcome thought for an Ateneo side that knows full well their 4-0 record doesn’t mean anything just yet. “In this league, you really can’t take any team for granted. We can’t be complacent and think na okay nang 4-0 kami,” Arespacochaga said.

He then continued, “We can’t afford to think like that. We can’t fall into the trap of looking (at) and enjoying our record. We’ve got to stay focused on our next game.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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