Another five-peat for Ateneo? Isaac Go thinks it’s possible
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 09, 2017 09:23 PM
Isaac Go is nothing but condident that Ateneo can sustain this level of success
Before last Sunday, five years ago was the last time Ateneo de Manila University celebrated a championship.
That 2012 title capped off a five-peat that saw the Blue Eagles running rougshod in the UAAP.
That five-peat featured top-notch talent such as Ryan Buenafe, Kiefer Ravena, Eric Salamat, Greg Slaughter, and Chris Tiu.
While this new cast of characters for Ateneo isn’t that renowned, or not yet at least, their belief that they can do great things remains.
So much so that Isaac Go, one of the heroes of this most recent championship, believes they are not stopping here. “This band of brothers, we feel we accomplished something, but we want another one,” he told reporters before Ateneo’s bonfire inside campus on Saturday.
He then continued, “This is the start of a new five-peat.”
The statement drew chuckles from the media present, the Blue Eagles and Go himself.
After all, these boys from Katipunan were never ones to make grand claims.
Still, a second straight championship isn’t a farfetched idea for this Ateneo team. Aside from team captain Vince Tolentino, Nigerian big man Chibueze Ikeh, and reserve Kris Porter, they will remain mostly intact for a title defense.
As for a five-peat? Well, Aaron Black, Nieto twins Matt and Mike, and Thirdy Ravena are only in their third year; Jolo Mendoza and Raffy Verano are only in their second year; and Troy Mallillin, Gian Mamuyac, and Tyler Tio are only in their first year.
They also have 6-foot-10 Angelo Kouame, Filipino-Kiwi Patrick Maagdenberg, and former San Beda College Red Lion William Navarro waiting in the wings.
And that’s not even including the “wealth of talent” from their high school in the likes of heady point guard SJ Belangel and versatile forwards Jason Credo and Dave Ildefonso, all set to graduate from the Juniors by next year, as well as 7-foot-1 teen Kai Sotto and court general Forthsky Padrigao, both members of Batang Gilas.
While he isn’t guaranteeing anything just yet, coach Tab Baldwin said the Blue Eagles will just continue what they have been doing – better themselves each and every day. “We managed to climb the mountain, but when we look up, we see another peak,” he expressed
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