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Matt and Mike can finally call themselves the winningest Nietos

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Tiebreaker Times Matt and Mike can finally call themselves the winningest Nietos ADMU Basketball News UAAP  UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 Mike Nieto Matt Nieto Jet Nieto Ateneo Men's Basketball

A year ago, moments after Ateneo de Manila University captured its second straight title, Matt and Mike Nieto already had their sights set on a three-peat in their final season in the UAAP.

And it’s easy to understand the burning desire that fueled the siblings when one delves into the Nieto’s history — particularly, the patriarch of their household.

The Nieto twins’ second title in Season 81 matched their father’s achievement as a Blue Eagle. Jet Nieto — who also had a championship back in his time as a Blue Eaglet — won consecutive crowns  as a Blue Eagle in 1987 and 1988.

So when the Nieto brothers and the Blue Eagles pulled off their historical title conquest on Wednesday night, Mike shouted to the mammoth crowd inside the SM Mall of Asia Arena:

“Talo na namin si Daddy!”

Tiebreaker Times Matt and Mike can finally call themselves the winningest Nietos ADMU Basketball News UAAP  UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 Mike Nieto Matt Nieto Jet Nieto Ateneo Men's Basketball

After making a jovial declaration of their success, the Nieto twins waded through the scrum of celebrants and shared an emotional moment with their family.

“Si Daddy walang sinabi. Umiyak lang eh kasi sa sobrang tuwa.

“Tapos nagpasalamat lang kami ni Matt kay daddy, kay mommy, kay Josh tsaka sa sister namin,” bared Mike, who tallied three points, five rebounds and two assists in the title-clinching Game Two victory.

“Of course, during our struggles in college, sila naman ‘yung numero uno na sumuporta sa amin and nagtiwala sa amin, lalo na si Daddy. So nagpasalamat lang kami kay Daddy na sobrang bless[ed] kami na palagi lang siyang nandirito para sa amin,” he added.

Matt, who scattered 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, even admitted that his dad became a source of strength for him when the UST Growling Tigers closed in on Ateneo in the all-important Game Two tiff.

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Tiebreaker Times Matt and Mike can finally call themselves the winningest Nietos ADMU Basketball News UAAP  UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 Mike Nieto Matt Nieto Jet Nieto Ateneo Men's Basketball

“Ayun kay Daddy, noong nagra-run ‘yung UST kanina… Actually tumitingin lang ako kay Daddy kasi siya ‘yung comfort namin eh.

“Siya ‘yung nagsasabi na okay lang ‘yan. Kahit eye-to-eye contact lang, alam mo na ‘yung message sa amin eh,” recalled the reliable floor general.

“Ever since we were kids, kahit eye-to-eye contact lang kami, alam mo na ‘yung sinasabi niya sa amin eh. So every time we struggle, every time may momentum ‘yung kalaban, or every time na hindi maganda ‘yung situation, we just look at Daddy. Actually, siya pa ‘yung tumatawag sa amin, and malaking bagay ‘yun as a player ’cause you know your dad is going to be there; your first coach is going to be there, always,” he continued.

Now that the Nieto twins have become the winningest members of the family, the two feel overwhelmed.

“Super sweet and sobrang sarap. You know, achieving your goal, wala nang best feeling in the world na lalo na para sa amin ni Mike, na ang goal namin as a family is ma-beat ‘yung kay Daddy.”

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