MANILA, Philippines – There’s no better feeling for a father than to see his own children do well in life.
And that’s exactly the story for Jet Nieto as he basks in the joy of seeing his twin sons Matt and Mike win a UAAP title three-peat with the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Jet, a two-time league champion with Ateneo from 1987 to 1988, was front and center celebrating with his two boys after the Blue Eagles defended their crown against the UST Growling Tigers and completed an unprecedented 16-0 season sweep.
“This is special, why? Because this is the 16th year of their playing career in Ateneo and it's the 16th win so it’s really super special,” said Jet during the Blue Eagles' on-court championship celebration.
“They had a mission, they strived hard – especially Mike who we knew was a center, power forward, now he's a big guard. He worked hard for the Ateneo community.”
“They were not after their stats. This is truly something big. They deserve all of it. It’s really God's will.”
Jet also shared that Mike saw this sweep coming all along. (READ: Jet Nieto hopes twins Matt, Mike surpass his feat)
“Mike is like a prophet where once he says something, it gets real,” he said. “Remember before the season, he said this is the greatest team ever. This is what happened – they swept, 16-0.”
Prophecies aside, the twins are just happy that they got to share all the ups and downs with their family, who was always there for the ride.
“Of course, during our struggles in college, sila naman 'yung numero uno na sumuporta sa amin and nagtiwala sa amin lalo na si daddy,” Mike said. “So nagpasalamat lang kami kay daddy na sobrang blessed kami na palagi lang siyang nandirito para sa amin.”
(Of course during our struggles in college, they are the first ones to support us and believe in us, especially daddy. So we were just thankful of him that we’re so blessed to always have him around for us.)
“Noong nagra-run 'yung UST, actually tumitingin lang ako kay daddy kasi siya 'yung comfort namin e,” Matt added. "Siya 'yung nagsasabi na okay lang 'yan, kahit eye to eye contact lang alam mo na 'yung message sa amin.”
(When UST made its run, I just looked at daddy because he is our comfort zone. He’s the one saying it’s okay. Even with eye-to-eye contact, we’d already know what he means.)
Matt then explained that simple visual contact was the all-around solution to their on-court troubles, whether they individually struggle or the opponents gain momentum.
“Actually he’s the one calling us afterwards and that’s a big thing as a player because you know your dad is going to be there, your first coach is going to be there, always.”
Now, the twins move on to the next level with one more title than their dad, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Super sweet and it feels really great. There’s no better feeling in the world for Mike and me than to beat daddy’s record,” Matt continued. “We’re so happy and speechless because this is our last ride. And there’s no better feeling to leave Ateneo as a champion.”
“That’s where you’ll be recognized, not as an individual but as a team that got the championship. That you had a three-peat and made history.” – Rappler.com