Tio to Asistio to Nieto, ‘walang inggitan’ in Ateneo backcourt

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 27, 2017 08:44 PM
Tio to Asistio to Nieto, ‘walang inggitan’ in Ateneo
WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. Matt Nieto and all of the Ateneo backcourt only have each other's backs.

Matt Nieto was in complete control during Ateneo de Manila University’s matchup with University of Sto. Tomas on Wednesday.

And at the end of it all, the third-year guard had a career-best 22 points on top of three rebounds and one steal. These, all while steering his team through the pesky Tigers and onto a 5-0 standing.

For Nieto, always humble, however, it was just another day at the office. As he put it, “I’m just doing my job. I’m just finding open lanes then looking for my teammates. Bonus na lang yung makaka-shoot ako.”

He then continued, “I’m just doing my job as point guard and leader of the team.”

The now 19-year-old is the latest Blue Eagle to just be doing his job. “Our point guards, they know their roles. They’re gonna distribute the ball and when they have the open shot, they’re gonna take it,” coach Sandy Arespacochaga said.

Nieto’s breakout follows Tyler Tio’s explosion against University of the Philippines and then Anton Asistio’s consistent contributions throughout the tournament.

Even better for the Katipunan-based squad and its faithful is the fact that their loaded backcourt only have each other’s backs. “It’s a luxury that we have very good point guards and it’s also a luxury that these guys have very good attitudes. Normally, that might pose a problem for other players who would want to get 30 minutes per game or who would want to be the main man,” Arespacochaga said.

He then continued, “I guess their unselfishness allows each one of them to step up when the need arises. Walang inggitan; there’s no jealousy (among them).”

Through five games in the tournament, Nieto has been norming 10.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.4 steals; Tio has been averaging 4.5 points and two assists; and Asistio has per game counts of 9.4 points, 1.8 assists, and 1.4 rebounds.

And so far, that one for all and all for one attitude seems to be working as Ateneo is off to a league-leading 5-0 start.

For Nieto, whenever he will be called upon again, he will still be nothing but ready. “I really practiced hard during the summer and I’m thankful for my coaches and teammates for keep giving me confidence,” he expressed.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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