UAAP Finals: Once they found their feet, we lost ours -- Baldwin

Mark Escarlote on Nov 29, 2017 09:54 PM
Once they found their feet, we lost ours -- Baldwin
Big leads just seem to drain and momentum swings the other way. And it’s always tough to swing momentum back. We suffered from that today -- Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin

Game 2 of the best-of-three 80th UAAP Men’s Basketball Finals series was a tug-of-war of momentum between defending champion De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University.

The Blue Eagles just pulled too early too soon.

Ateneo squandered a 21-point lead after a scorching first quarter performance in a sorry 92-83 loss Wednesday at the Big Dome that tied the series to one game apiece.

The Katipunan-based squad went up, 49-28, with 3:23 left in the second quarter, got complacent and suffered a monumental collapse.

“It was tough because we had a big lead and I’m a coach that hates big leads. That may sound ironic but in today’s world, I think young people don’t have a killer instinct,” said Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin. “And I see it over and over and over in basketball leagues all over the world.”

DLSU clawed its way out of the deep hole with a 40-10 swing that bridged from the last three minutes of the second until the end of the third to turn their deficit into a 68-59 lead heading into the fourth.

Back-to-back Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala, Most Improved player Ricci Rivero and Andrei Caracut led the comeback assault while the Blue Eagles began to throw bricks and were in disarray.

“Big leads just seem to drain and momentum swings the other way. And it’s always tough to swing momentum back,” said Baldwin. “We suffered from that today.”

“La Salle did a great job of finding their feet after we had a great start,” he added. “Once they found their feet, we lost ours. And we couldn’t really have it back.”

Game Three of the UAAP Men's Basketball Finals will air on December 3, Sunday LIVE at 3:30 pm on ABS-CBN Channel 2, S+A, S+A HD and via livestream.

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