Mike Nieto: Ateneo not perfect
MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles did everything they could to regain their footing against the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, but the ball just didn't fall in their favor as they wound up absorbing their second loss this UAAP season.
Mike Nieto said, though, that setbacks are all part of their journey to defend the 2017 title.
"It's really harder defending a crown than winning one," admitted Nieto.
"So 'yun ang nilagay namin sa isip namin, and ever since the loss against Adamson, sinabi na nila na we're really vulnerable to losing."
(We knew that ever since that loss to Adamson, they said that we're vulnerable to losing)
The Blue Eagles have been the favorites to win the title especially after sweeping three preseason tournaments and representing the Philippines in the 2018 William Jones Cup.
But come opening day, the league-leading Adamson Soaring Falcons stunned the defending champions, and despite bouncing back brilliantly in the last 5 games, their momentum got halted by FEU's superb defense.
"We just have to enjoy these moments kasi pati naman 'yung Golden State Warriors natatalo eh. Hindi naman lahat perfect," added the Blue Eagles captain.
(We just have to enjoy these moments because even the Golden State Warriors lose. No one is perfect.)
Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin also felt that the team is still a work in progress offensively, especially after losing both Thirdy Ravena and Matt Nieto in the game.
"I don’t think you can play a game and force 27 turnovers and get 19 offensive rebounds and feel bad about your effort. So we feel good about our effort. We just didn’t hit shots," said Baldwin.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles will open their second-round bid on Sunday, October 14, versus the University of the Philipppines Fighting Maroons in an anticipated the Battle of Katipunan as both teamslook to rebound from their losses. – Rappler.com