The work’s far from over for Ateneo De Manila University.
Sure, the Blue Eagles notched their 36th straight win with a 101-51 rout of University of Santo Tomas on Tuesday morning.
Despite a stellar performance from his squad, Tab Baldwin is still not content. Instead, he hopes to see his players sustain their momentum throughout all their games moving forward.
He also insisted that their dominant victory over the Growling Tigers is not yet a statement game from the reigning champions.
“I think that that’s a grand thought to have and I would like for that to be true,” said the American-Kiwi tactician. “But I think that we’ll only know whether that’s true or not if we follow it up with other games where the players really keep their shoulders to the grindstone; and keep working hard right throughout the game and stick together and work with one another.
“I mean, you’ll only know if something is a statement game later on when you look back on it. So I hope so. I hope this is a sign of better things to come for our team, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
In previous games, the Blue Eagles have allowed some of their opponents to put up double-digit scoring runs in between quarters. However, it wasn’t the case in the game against UST.
Ateneo led from start to finish with balanced scoring from its players.
In the lopsided game, the Blue Eagles limited the Growling Tigers to just 28.6-percent shooting from the field – 2-of-25 from deep; won the rebounding battle 49-32; dished out 27 assists from their 38 makes; and saw their bench score 40 points.
Their fluid execution on both ends of the floor allowed them to complete a 50-point drubbing of the España-based squad – the largest in the league since 2003.
After improving to a 10-0 record, the Blue Eagles still have no plans of stopping anytime soon. Instead, they look to build on their winning momentum for the remainder of the season.
“I think we just need to mentally prepare ourselves for each game. Coach Tab and the coaches have been harping on that – that we had a lot of mental lapses, especially in the second half,” said Raffy Verano after leading the team in scoring with 18 points.
“Talking within the players – mentally we really come to the game with a killer instinct. I think today we actually showed a little bit of that and moving forward, it’ll just keep going up and up.”