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There’s a high likelihood that the Ateneo Blue Eagles will have two players wearing the name “Ramos” on their backs when the UAAP basketball tournament returns.
One of them is Dwight, an already pro-caliber and multi-talented wing who turned heads as a breakout star in the Philippine national team during the second window of the FIBA Asian qualifiers in November.
The other, Eli, is pretty good as well, according to his staunchest supporter.
“He’s probably one of the only guys to really frustrate me when he defends me,” added Dwight. “So he's a fast attacker and he's a good player. It'll be exciting for me to play with him, too.”
During the Philippines’ two wins against Thailand, Dwight showcased a skills package which included outside shooting, slashing capabilities, solid passing, and sound decision-making.
Eli, on the other hand, brings other basketball traits to the table.
“Me and him are kind of like different players,” Dwight said. “I'm more of, like, slow and methodical. I won’t try and force anything, but he's like an energy guy.”
Eli, who stands 6-foot-3, played for Walnut High School in California and averaged close to 18 points and 7 boards a game as a senior. He also stole the ball nearly 3 times a contest – a good indicator of his on- and off-ball defensive potential.
That defensive acumen contributed to the heated one-on-one battles the Ramos brothers had while growing up.
“I remember all the times in the backyard playing against him – it just starts out fun and [then] it gets really really hot,” Dwight said.
“I probably won more for sure. I remember lowering the rim down,” Dwight said, laughing.
“We just played one-on-one in like a tight little backyard. So yeah, it just got really heated at some points, but I'll say I won more of them.”
Dwight and Eli figure to play prominent roles as Ateneo aims to win a fourth straight title in the next UAAP season.
Despite losing core pieces like Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, and the Nieto Brothers, Tab Baldwin and his Blue Eagles have a solid succession plan with the likes of returning standouts SJ Belangel, Will Navarro, Angelo Kouame, and more.
Dwight, who will likely take over the starting spot left by the now Japan-based Ravena, doesn’t feel pressured to fill in shoes.
“I wouldn’t say like it's my responsibility or anything, because it will be a completely different team from what they had,” he explained.
“We haven't gone to practice much together. So once we will come together, it'll be more clear…how this team's going to be. So I think right now I'm not really sure but once we start practicing again, I think we'll be able to figure out how our team’s going to go.”
A fourth consecutive title would be Ateneo’s second 4-peat in the last 10 years – their first took place in 2011 during the Blue Eagles’ 5-peat run under head coach Norman Black.
Another men’s basketball title would be the Blue Eagles’ 12th overall in the UAAP. They are currently fourth in league history behind FEU (20), UST (18), and UE (18). – Rappler.com