Ever since coach Tab Baldwin took over as the head coach of the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, he has made sure that his team gives in to his system. He instilled a mindset that everyone should be doing their jobs and not just put up blank numbers.
“We really don’t care who scores.
“We move the ball, find the open guy, find the guy who’s hot and it just so happen that it was me today. As you’ve seen through the course of this season, it has been Ange [Kouame], it’s been Matt [Nieto], it’s been Thirdy [Ravena], it’s been SJ [Belangel], everybody,” shared fourth-year Blue Eagle Isaac Go.
But for his part, the 6-foot-7 stretch big man has been having a down year by all accounts. After finishing last season with averages of 6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in the elimination round and 9.0 points and 3.6 rebounds in the playoffs, his numbers went down to just 4.64 points and 4.27 rebounds per game in the first 11 games of the season.
And even his coaches have taken notice of it.
“Coach challenged me to produce more, as much as I can do the mentor role, you have to still remember who you are as a player,” disclosed the 22-year-old Gilas cadet.
“That is the challenge of the coaching staff was, produce, give us numbers, find a reason for us to play you more.”
In the match anticipated rematch between the defending champions and the Adamson Soaring Falcons, Go finally showed up, finishing with 12 points and five rebounds to lead Ateneo to a 62-48 victory.
There was relief on the face of Go that he finally broke out of his slump after the game. But more than that, the gentle giant was just glad to get the victory.
“That is our goal, to not make one individual player glorified, but the whole team glorified.”
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