The youngest Eaglet in UAAP 82 is a mix of Mike and Matt Nieto

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 20, 2019 07:51 PM
The youngest Eaglet in UAAP 82 is a mix of Mike, Matt Nieto
(Photos courtesy of Nietos, Arvin Lim)

Just as kuya Mike and Matt are playing out their last games for Ateneo de Manila University, Lebron Nieto is preparing for his first season with the big boys.

The youngest Nieto is all set to make his debut for the Blue Eaglets in the oncoming UAAP 82 Juniors Basketball Tournament in November.

And he will do so as one of the youngest ever to do it. "Sobrang proud kami sa kanya. He's living up to his name," Matt said about their little brother.

He then continued, "Against older, tougher guys, napanindigan niya sarili niya. Nakapasok siya sa team at 14-years-old and kahit kami ni Mike, 'di namin nagawa yun."

Of course, the Nieto twins made quite the name for themselves in the Jrs., winning a championship in 2015 before bagging back-to-back trophies in the Srs. in 2017 to 2018.

Even more, Jet Nieto, the patriarch of the clan, is  himself a one-time Jrs. and back-to-back Srs. titlist.

In their eyes, though, only pressure makes diamonds and they have full faith Lebron will be a diamond. "Maganda yung iniwan naming legacy sa Eaglets so china-challenge namin siya lagi," Mike said.

He then continued, "But of course, we're very proud of him. That's the result of hard work na rin e kasi grabe rin siya mag-extra work kasama namin."

When he finally dons the blue and white, Lebron Nieto will remind just about everybody of his kuyas - yes, kuyas as he has a bit of both Mike and Matt in him. "Position ni Matt, pero katawan ko," the former said through chuckles.

How does that look like exactly?

Matt is here to explain. "Based on experience kasi sa basketball na ngayon, mas maganda yung marunong kang mag-dribble kahit gano ka kalaki so at a young age pa lang, tinuturuan na namin lahat siya para maging point guard," he shared.

He then continued, "At the same time, stocky kasi siya at may nose for the ball parang si Mike. So combination namin siya."

And when Lebron's season starts, all of us better expect kuya Mike and Matt to be there - alongside daddy Jet. "'Di na lang si daddy coach niya ngayon. Kami nang tatlo," Matt said.

Mike seconded the statement. "Every game, kung pwede, nandun dapat kami kasama ni daddy," he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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