Without a doubt, the Nieto twins made their mark in Ateneo

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 20, 2020 05:00 PM
Without a doubt, the Nieto twins made their mark in Ateneo
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Mike and Matt Nieto are Ateneo lifers - and their names and numbers will never ever be forgotten in the place they began being student-athletes.

Mike’s no. 7 and Matt’s no. 12 were retired by Ateneo Grade School in a historic ceremony last Wednesday.

This is the first time the Katipunan-based school immortalized names and numbers.

Without a doubt, this was a dream come true for the twins. "Speechless kami. Kami ni Mike, we always wanted to leave a mark sa Ateneo," Matt said.

He then continued, "We always wanted something na maaalala kami. Having this, and the history of having a (season sweep), is such an honor and blessing."

The Nietos were key cogs in the Blue Eagles' historic perfect run in Season 82 - a perfect run that finished the job on a three-peat.

In all, they won three titles in the seniors division, one crown in the juniors, and countless other championships from the very moment they donned the blue and white in Grade 2.

"We're just really grateful for this," Mike said. "Grabe rin kasi yung binigay ng Ateneo sa amin ever since prep."

Being sons of a school legend such as Jet Nieto, the brothers had always wanted their own place in school lore.

And so, from beginning to end, they went all-out in trying to give glory to Ateneo. As Mike put it, "Kami ni Matt, ever since prep, sinabi namin pati ni daddy sa tumanggap sa amin dito na, as much as possible, lahat ng sasalihan namin mula grade school hanggang college, ipapa-champion namin."

He then continued, "Sabi ni daddy nun, 'The twins will bring back glory sa Ateneo.' From then on, the rest is history."

Along with being well worthy of following in the footsteps of their multiple-time champion father, Mike and Matt are moving on from Katipunan as one thing and one thing only - winners. "Sinasabi na nga nila na basta magkasama kami ni Matt, imposibleng hindi mag-champion," Mike said.

All of that, they did for the school that always and always had full faith in them, the school that has just immortalized their names and numbers. "Kahit anong achievement namin talaga, babalik at babalik pa rin kami sa kanila. All our championships, we celebrate with them," Matt said.

He then continued, "Hinding-hindi namin sila nakakalimutan. Lahat sila, naging part ng journey namin."

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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