MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles are back in their sixth straight UAAP men’s basketball finals, and Tab Baldwin wants every single possible “blue-blooded” fan to show their support in person.
After locking into their third finals war with the defending champion UP Fighting Maroons in the last four seasons, Baldwin made his desire for no less than maximum support very clear.
“Here’s what I want to say about the pressure that we might be feeling. I want MOA and Araneta to be chock-full of blue in every potential seat that is available, and I don’t care what it takes to get those seats,” he said after Ateneo destroyed the Adamson Soaring Falcons’ title hopes with an 81-60 blowout.
“I want the Ateneo faithful behind this team, because this team has already surpassed a lot of the expectations of them, and even, to be fair, of the coaching staff. But the good thing is, they haven’t surpassed their own, and that’s a credit to them.”
After falling behind as far as fifth place in the early stages of the elimination round, the Blue Eagles found their groove late in the tournament, and won their last seven games, including one against UP and their last two against Adamson.
Behind the steady leadership of Ange Kouame, BJ Andrade, and Dave Ildefonso meshing well with newcomers like Kai Ballungay, Chris Koon, and Gab Gomez, the Baldwin-coached Eagles are once again looking as strong as they have ever been in past years featuring more loaded rosters.
Because of this, Baldwin wants Ateneo fans to see for themselves starting this Sunday, December 11, 6 pm, at the Mall of Asia Arena, just how far his wards have matured in such a short span of time.
“We need to fight with every ounce of the ‘One Big Fight,’ the BEBOB (Blue Eagle Band of Brothers), we need every single blue-blooded Filipino from around the world throwing every bit of weight they have behind this team,” he continued.
“That’s how much respect I have for UP. That’s how good I think that team is. That intact roster is a championship roster. That’s a championship coaching staff. They did a phenomenal job last year, they did a phenomenal job today. But I know how pressure weighs on you. They will be feeling the pressure.” – Rappler.com