Ateneo always has a next man up also for Coach Tab

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 07, 2020 04:58 PM
Ateneo always has a next man up also for Coach Tab
(Photo by Josh Albelda)

Tab Baldwin was with Ateneo de Manila University as they resumed action in the 2020 Philippine Collegiate Champions League.

Rather than standing on the sidelines like he usually does, though, he was sitting on the bench as assistant Gabby Severino did the shot-calling, Saturday inside Pasig's Ynares Sports Arena.

Clearly, the American-Kiwi mentor was still recovering from being hospitalized a week ago.

He had only been discharged last Thursday and a day later, went back to work in the Blue Eagles' training session.

Without their head coach and with him far from full strength, however, Ateneo remained in business.

After all, remaining focused whatever happens has been what the multi-titled mentor has instilled in all of them. "We talk about with the players, yung next man up, it's the same thing with us," Severino said.

He then continued, "Coach went to the hospital and we stepped in and did our jobs. Tuloy-tuloy ang buhay namin."

Indeed, the Blue Eagles still looked like a well-oiled machine as they outclassed University of the Visayas in the semifinals.

And make no mistake, the big-time win was in no way for coach Tab. "Nothing like that. 'Di ganun kagrabe ang nangyari sa kanya. As of this moment, we just have to do our jobs," Severino said as they now await the winner between San Beda University and the University of the Philippines.

In the end, what matters for the three-peat UAAP champions is that their head coach is back with them and on his way back to full strength.

And whatever happens, there will always be a next man up in blue and white.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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