Coach Tab: ‘There’s always a solution somewhere on your roster’
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 28, 2017 08:58 PM
NEXT MAN UP. Isaac Go is just one of the many capable bench players Ateneo has at its disposal.
Ateneo de Manila University is a deep team.
Only Thirdy Ravena and Matt Nieto have scoring averages in double-digits, but eight other players contribute somewhere between five to nine points per game for them.
That balance, overwhelming at times, has the Blue Eagles alone atop the leaderboard this late in the season.
Ravena may be the first among equals, but whenever he isn’t clicking, or just needs a breather, coach Tab Baldwin can just call the next man up for them. “We believe in our players as much as we do because of how hard we all work. When we feel somebody isn’t executing or doing their job, then we just look at the next guy,” he said.
Just how deep is Ateneo? Ravena and Vince Tolentino have Aaron Black, Mike Nieto, and Raffy Verano backing them up; Anton Asistio and Matt Nieto have Gian Mamuyac, Jolo Mendoza, and Tyler Tio backing them up; and Chibueze Ikeh has Isaac Go backing him up.
Yes, that’s a rotation than can go 12-deep.
And whoever that next man up is, he has, more often than not, responded. “There’s always a solution somewhere on your roster,” Baldwin said.
That is exactly why the Blue Eagles find themselves ranked third in both starter points and bench points.
In essence, that means that they experience no dropoff when they send in their backups.
Of course, that was all part of the plan and all under the philosophy of Baldwin that no one player should dictate the game for them. “I think that sends a strong message to the players. They realize that they’re not gonna be allowed to stay out there unless they’re doing their job,” he said.
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