'Matty Ice' gives Ateneo its own 'Atin 'to' moment
Matt Nieto channeled his inner Paul Desiderio in his game-winner against Chinese Taipei (Photo courtesy of Chinese Taipei Basketball League)
The young Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles spread their wings in the recently concluded 2018 William Jones Cup.
With a 5-3 record and a fourth-place finish, the Blue Eagles – the only collegiate team in the tournament – did nothing but prove they belonged in the regional tournament.
Among many, many unforgettable moments, however, one stands out for the reigning UAAP champions.
Let’s just hear Gian Mamuyac’s take on it. Asked about their most memorable moment in the Jones Cup, he answered while laughing, “Tinatanong pa ba yan? Siyempre, Matt Nieto game-winner.”
Last Saturday, the kids from Katipunan were trailing by two with 3.1 ticks to go in their matchup against the home team before head coach Tab Baldwin had the perfect play with Thirdy Ravena inbounding and finding Nieto for a good look from beyond.
“Matty Ice” then rose and launched a triple and the defense was unable to do anything as the ball found the bottom of the net, winning the game for Ateneo.
Videos showed that Nieto was mouthing words after he hit that shot – and make no mistake about it, he wasn’t taunting Chinese Taipei.
Was he saying “Atin ‘to?” “Oo, atin ‘to kasi talagang gusto naming manalo sa laro na yun. Nung tinira ko yun, tinignan ko teammates ko tapos sinabi ko ‘Atin ‘to,’” he shared.
He then continued, “Parang nagpaka-Paul Desiderio ako.”
Yes, the Blue Eagles’ court general took inspiration from neighboring University of the Philippines’ main man.
Last season, Desiderio coined a rallying cry for the Fighting Maroons when he said “Atin ‘to! Papasok ‘to!” He said that during a timeout in the dying moments after which, he proceeded to take and make the game-winning three that downed University of Sto. Tomas.
Now, Nieto has given Ateneo its own “Atin ‘to!” moment – and he’s sur Gilas cadet teammate Desiderio wouldn’t mind. “Magkakampi rin naman kami e tsaka idol ko rin naman siya. Nothing wrong in doing the same,” he said.
He then continued, “Para sa bayan din naman yun.”
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