Ateneo's Matt Nieto: ‘We promise we’re gonna be hungrier next time’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 12, 2017 08:19 PM
Matt Nieto: ‘We promise we’re gonna be hungrier next time’
BOUNCE BACK. Matt Nieto said that for Ateneo, falling in the elimination round is a lot better than falling in the championship round.

Ateneo de Manila University did not sweep the elimination round of the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Meaning, Ateneo will not automatically advance into the Finals.

Of course, the Blue Eagles felt bad about the missed opportunity. “The team’s feeling sad, of course, cause we lost. Nakakapanghinayang sobra kasi if ever we did make it, we’ll be the first Ateneo team to make it to 14-0,” point guard Matt Nieto said after they fell to archrival De La Salle University, 76-79, on Sunday.

However, Nieto was also quick to point out that their focus remains on the bigger picture. As he put it, “But honestly, we didn’t think about that before the game. We just wanted to win and do our roles, but credit to La Salle cause they played really well and were hungrier.”

And even after losing a lead of seven points in the last two minutes, the Katipunan-based squad is nothing but confident that they will have for themselves a mighty rebound when the Final Four – and hopefully, the Finals – rolls along. “For sure, we’re gonna bounce back. We promise that we’re gonna be hungrier next time.”

Isaac Go only shared the same sentiment. “We’re just looking at the next game. It’s nice, of course to have the 14-0 sweep, but we’re just looking at the next game. The most important game is the next game,” he said.

Twice-to-beat Ateneo looks to have for themselves a mighty rebound when they take on fourth-seed Far Eastern University a week from now at the Araneta Coliseum.

And for the Blue Eagles, falling in the elimination round is a lot better than falling in the championship round. “We talked about na it’s better na it happened now instead of the Finals. Yung pagkatalo namin ngayon, sobrang ganda ng learnings na natutunan namin,” Nieto said.

He then continued, “Sana magamit namin against FEU then kung suswertehin, sa Finals kalaban ang La Salle.”

The Green Archers, also twice-to-beat, try to make Nieto’s wish come true when they wage war against third-seed Adamson University on Saturday.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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