We shot the ball just abysmally -- Baldwin

Mark Escarlote on Nov 19, 2017 08:29 PM
We shot the ball just abysmally -- Baldwin
We shot airballs tonight. Can't really tell you why, we just shot the ball badly -- Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin

Ateneo de Manila University missed 45 of its field goal attempts. 

The Blue Eagles just couldn’t find the bottom of the net.

And that pretty much summed up how the Katipunan-based squad surrendered the match against Far Eastern University, 67-80, on Sunday in the 80th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Big Dome.

Good thing Ateneo is armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four so the Blue Eagles still have a chance to clinch a Finals spot against repeat-seeking De La Salle University on Wednesday.     

But Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin would definitely want to forget his wards terrible shooting day.

“I think FEU played real well,” said the mentor, who saw his team go down 17 points late in the fourth.

The Blue Eagles had a hellish 26-of-71 field goal clip (36.62%). They heaved 32 attempts behind the arc but swished in only 10.

“We shot the ball just abysmally,” said Baldwin, whose squad suffered its second straight loss after winning its first 13 games.

“We had open shots particularly in the first half, and we didn't hit them. I think our confidence kind of went down, and I hate to see that because with young kids, you don't ever want to see their confidence sort of erode a little bit,” he added. “And then in the second half, we started forcing it. I think our offense got worse because we tried to force shots, and you know, you just don't see our guys shoot airballs. We shot airballs tonight. Can't really tell you why, we just shot the ball badly.”

It didn’t help that the Blue Eagles turned the ball over 16 times that FEU converted to 17 points.

Baldwin also pointed out his boys were ‘too soft’ in contesting shots and the Tams took advantage, nailing their shots almost at 50% with 31-of-63 field goal shooting.

“If you look at the stats, almost all of their shots were contested field goal attempts. But I don't think our contests had any sort of vigor to them,” he said. “Our defense seemed to lack the last 10% of effort that it needs to have an impact on a good offensive team, and tonight FEU was a good offensive team.”

“Forget the regular season, whatever it means,” he added. “This is playoff basketball, and they were sharper on both ends. I have to figure out why we weren't.”

 

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