Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times


Matt Nieto’s sacrifice was worth it

After sacrificing his body through the entire course of the Finals, Matt Nieto was filled with emotions as he looked at the gold medal resting on his chest.

“Mission accomplished,” the third-year Atenean said after the Blue Eagles’ 88-86 triumph over the defending champions, De La Salle University.

The championship was the result of all the blood, sweat, and tears that the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles had shed all throughout the year. And they were sorely tested during a highly-physical and emotional best-of-three Finals series against arch-rivals DLSU Green Archers.

Game after game, players from both squads went home with cuts, scratches, bruises, and sore muscles. But for Nieto, he sees his battle scars as a reminder of this specific fighting moment.UAAP-80-Finals-G1-DLSU-vs.-ADMU-Matt-Nieto-9703 Matt Nieto's sacrifice was worth it ADMU Basketball News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“About the physicality of the game, there’s a saying that there’s a battle in every scar. Whenever we see a scar, we always remember this moment, this moment that we never backed down to anyone, especially to La Salle,” the 19-year-old reflected.

We stood our ground.”

After he was left bloodied during Game One as a result of defending against La Salle’s Ben Mbala, he clearly made a statement that he is willing to sacrifice his body for the Ateneo community. In the end, it was all worth it, as they brought back the trophy to Loyola Heights after five long years.

“We have to take the Ateneo community for always believing in us,” the 6-foot-1 guard experessed.

“It really meant a lot to us because when you believe in something, you’re already halfway there.”

Nieto delivered all season long, capped with an impressive Finals stat line of 9.67 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.67 assists, and 1.33 steals per game. Orchestrating stellar play after stellar play, Nieto has evolved to Ateneo’s lead floor general.

#ReadMore  Clint Escamis, the game-changer in Mapua’s NCAA 99 turnaround

Now that their mission is accomplished, he will take time to relish his first championship experience and gun for his second next season.

“We’ve been through a lot. All the doubts, all the haters, and we’re glad that as a team, we all proved them wrong and we just stuck to one another,” said the second generation Blue Eagle.

“All the goals, all the dreams, we made it. It’s all worth it.”

Written By

Danine is a graduating Broadcast Communication student who writes about basketball and volleyball in between her classes. Initially just a sports fan mostly influenced by her fanatic dad, she eventually realized that she can make a career out of her passion after her amazing internship with Tiebreaker Times

You May Also Like


NLEX has signed Matt Nieto to a two-year extension. The deal was sealed on Thursday at the NLEX office in Balintawak, Caloocan City. Nieto,...


San Miguel secured the top seed of the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup after beating an undermanned NLEX, 120-103, Sunday night at the Philsports...


Rain or Shine breathed more life into its PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup following a 113-101 comeback win over NLEX, Friday at the Philsports...


For the young and new-look Ateneo Blue Eagles, winning against the league-leading UP Fighting Maroons to end the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball first...


De La Salle University coach Topex Robinson had a tone of frustration after the Green Archers succumbed to National University 77-80 in overtime in...

19th Asian Games

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas unveiled the initial list of 60 players submitted to the Philippine Olympic Committee Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee last...


Alvin Pasaol caught fire on a rainy Wednesday night, leading Meralco to a 96-83 victory over NLEX in the 2023 PBA On Tour at...


NLEX sprung back and added to San Miguel’s woes, 102-94, in the PBA On Tour Wednesday night at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig....