#UAAP 81 Football: Merida tells surging Ateneo not to be satisfied yet
Santino Honasan on Mar 20, 2019 02:00 PM
"I keep telling my boys, don’t be satisfied just because nakuha na natin yung result. Just do more lang, every game, do more pa." - Ateneo head coach Jaypee Merida
Ateneo de Manila had quite the rough start to their UAAP Season 81 Men's Football campaign.
With a draw against Far Eastern University sandwiched in between losses to University of the East and defending champions University of the Philippines to begin their first three matches, the Blue Eagles were looking less like the contenders that they have been for the past few years and looked to be headed for a disastrous season.
Then, in their fourth match of the season, the Blue Eagles woke up.
Against Season 80 runners-up University of Santo Tomas, the Blue Eagles unloaded the best offensive output of any team this season, blasting UST en route to a 5-0 win.
Against a resurgent Adamson side, Ateneo again went on an offensive rampage as they connected on four goals for another dominant win.
Against National University last Sunday, Ateneo again was on point as they fired off another four goals to record three straight blowout losses.
After one point in their first three matches, the Blue Eagles are now in a three-way tie for second place at ten points.
A win over rivals De La Salle on Wednesday could see them close out the first round just two points back from league-leading FEU.
And while it looks like the Blue Eagles aren't slowing down anytime soon, head coach Jaypee Merida is reminding his wards to remain motivated and hungry as the most important stretch of the season draws near.
"I keep telling my boys, don’t be satisfied just because nakuha na natin yung result," Merida told ABS-CBN Sports. "Just do more lang, every game, do more pa."
In Ateneo's dominant run, a number of players have managed to step up, apart form star striker Jarvey Gayoso.
Veterans Rupert Baña and Mark Nacional have both recorded a brace, while rookies like Martin Ordoñez and Luca Alleje have also chipped in.
With such an impressive stretch of wins, it's easy for teams to take their foot off the gas for a bit, and Merida doesn't want the wide margins of victory to be a reason for overconfidence.
"For example, we scored four goals today, don’t be satisfied. Let’s enjoy today, but tomorrow, it’s another challenge, another chance for the next game," he stated.