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Tiebreaker Times


Baldwin accepts responsibility for ‘humbling’ loss to UP

The second round of the Battle of Katipunan ended in dramatic fashion as Ateneo De Manila University came crashing down against University of the Philippines in the final game of the eliminations of UAAP Season 84. 

The Fighting Maroons went to work and put up a masterclass performance against the Blue Eagles. They snapped Ateneo’s 39-game winning streak with an 84-83 victory on Sunday evening.

After absorbing a heartbreaking loss, Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin admitted his own shortcomings in the game. He also credited UP for responding well, which allowed them to gain the upper hand in the match-up.

UAAP-84-MBB-ADMU-vs.-UP-James-Spencer-9368 Baldwin accepts responsibility for 'humbling' loss to UP ADMU Basketball News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“We anticipated the lineup that he [Goldwin Monteverde] would start with. And he did start with that lineup. We felt that if we zone that lineup, we might put some pressure on them,” the multi-titled head coach lamented.

“We didn’t think that they would be as good against zone, and we would try and force a different lineup. [James] Spencer hit a shot, [Malick] Diouf got rebounds, so the very things that we hoped wouldn’t happen, happened,” the American-Kiwi tactician continued.

“I think it also caused us to be a little bit disconcerted at the offensive end. We didn’t have rhythm and UP put good pressure on us early. We just didn’t get into a good rhythm early in the game offensively. It took us quite a while actually, so I think that accounted for their big start.”

Against the Fighting Maroons, the Blue Eagles got off to a slow start. They ended the first quarter trailing by 14 on a 13-27 disadvantage – their largest deficit of the season thus far. Ateneo did manage to get back within striking distance in the ensuing quarters.

#ReadMore  Levi dela Cruz leads Arellano rally against CSB to avoid upset, snap 4-game skid

However, the Blue Eagles ran out of time to completely take back the lead from UP and win the game.

Still, Baldwin chose to take the blame for the defeat and vowed to prepare his team better in time for their Final Four match-up against the fourth-seeded FEU Tamaraws.

UAAP-84-MBB-ADMU-vs.-UP-Tab-Baldwin-9382 Baldwin accepts responsibility for 'humbling' loss to UP ADMU Basketball News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“That’s coaching, that’s life. I made decisions and they didn’t pan out very well early in the game. That’s the way it is, so this is a good humbling experience for all of our organization, for me, for the team,” the former Gilas mentor shared. “I told the team after the game, in large part this loss is on me. I mean they got to play better too, but that’s just the way it is.

“You don’t win them all. It’s not a question of you can’t win them all — you can but nobody ever has.”

He went on, “So the truth is you don’t win them all. And now it’s just the case of regrouping, bouncing back, and getting ready for a tough FEU team.”

Free throws also spelled a huge difference in the game. The Fighting Maroons got 30 attempts from the line and converted 23 of those for a 76.7 shooting percentage. Meanwhile, the Blue Eagles only got to the line 16 times, where they made nine of their total attempts for a 56.3 percent free throw shooting.

Baldwin’s squad is no stranger to not getting fouls called in their favor; the FEU Tamaraws were granted more free throw attempts than them in their previous game. This led the 63-year-old tactician to air his frustrations and make controversial comments by telling the referees to get ‘eye surgery’ like him after the game.

#ReadMore  Jerome Santos lifts 7-man CEU to Game 2 stunner of Cignal-Ateneo

This time around, however, Baldwin chose to humbly accept the fate of his team as he refused to point fingers at anyone.

“It’s a lot. It’s a lot. For a game that I thought didn’t look like one side was being overly more physical than the other side, but that’s the way it is,” he opined. “I’m sure everybody wants to point a finger at the referee issues and all of that, but it doesn’t serve anybody’s best interests.

“Commissioner Tonichi [Pujante] was right, we should all focus on everybody being better. I have to focus on my team being better and leave other people to do their job.”

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