UAAP Finals: "No one to blame but us" - Nieto twins

Philip Matel on Nov 29, 2017 09:14 PM
UAAP Finals:
The Nieto twins didn't look far away for a reason in blowing a 21-point lead against the De La Salle Green Archers in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 Men's Basketball finals.

Ateneo de Manila University's Mike and Matt Nieto blamed no one else but themselves for blowing a 21-point lead in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Basketball Finals that saw the De La Salle Green Archers force a rubber match on Sunday, 92-83.

Mike said that the team lost their composure in the third quarter, the period wherein they only scored a measly eight points, and blamed the Ateneo players as a whole for letting La Salle turn the game a full 180 degrees.

The bigger Nieto added that the team played much more individualistic and failed to focus on a team-first style of play in the third, admitting that the team did not follow the system that brought them a league-best 13-1 slate in the eliminations.

Matt agreed with his twin brother, further saying that the game began to spell doom for them when Ben Mbala completed the alley-oop off a lob pass from Kib Montalbo with under two minutes left in the first half.

“Kami ang nagpabaya sa sarili namin. Nawala yung composure namin, yung sa game plan. Binale wala namin kasi akala namin kaya namin hindi nasundan ang system. The blame is on us,” the guard Matt said after the game.

Although they were very much hurt by the huge meltdown, Matt could only delve on the positive side after their defeat, stating that the loss gave them more experience for what could be a blockbuster Game 3 on Sunday.

For Mike, the team’s inability to hold on to the lead stung hard but added that they have already moved on and discussed the team’s mentality with Vince Tolentino as they head to the deciding game.

“It's another opporunity for us to showcase our talent, lalo na it's a do-or-die game for us, Ateneo and La Salle. Ang mananalo dyan may mas gusto makakuha ng championship. We promised you guys we'll fight, we'll get that on Sunday.”

As for the team, Matt stated his full, whole-hearted confidence in head coach Tab Baldwin’s system, and poise a huge challenge to the repeat bid of the defending champions.

“We know that we're tougher and know we can handle that challenge against La Salle. We know we trust in ourselves, we trust in the team, and of course, we can trust coach Tab. He can lead us to the promised land.”

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