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  La Salle completes comeback against UST in dramatic start to season

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


Kiefer Ravena is not part of the 15-man roster of NLEX for the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup. Ravena, who is in the country, had...


Matt Nieto is uncertain to suit up for NLEX in Game Four of their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal battle against Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday....


Ginebra bucked the absence of Japeth Aguilar as it obliterated NLEX once again, 104-94, to move just one win away from another trip to...


Matt Nieto definitely felt happy that he won over his brother Mike when NLEX rallied to beat Rain or Shine in PBA Governors’ Cup...


With Shiga’s game against Gunma on Wednesday evening postponed by the B.League due to health and safety protocols, Kiefer Ravena had the time to...


When Matt Nieto walked into the SMART Araneta Coliseum on Friday afternoon, the 6-foot-1 floor general could not help but reminisce. It was the...


NLEX will lose Calvin Oftana for at least six weeks. The six-foot-five utility forward out of San Beda University has been diagnosed with a...


Meralco showed little rust even after nearly two months of layoff as it took down NLEX, 110-100, to begin the 2021-22 PBA Governors’ Cup...