After a hard-fought game against the UST Growling Tigers, Tab Baldwin believes that the Ateneo Blue Eagles came out of the game with more knowledge under their belt.
“This is going to make us I believe a lot better basketball team because Aldin [Ayo]’s team has a way of doing that. They have a way of finding, you know, your weaknesses,” expressed Baldwin.
“I’ve coached against him enough to know that after you play him, there’s a lot of patchwork to be done on the things that he exposes [with] his team.”
The game itself saw eight deadlocks and 14 lead changes. It was up for grabs all the way until the last seconds of the game.
Angelo Kouame – who had struggled all game long – scored the go-ahead tip with 3:40 left that put the Blue Eagles, 68-67. He then emphatically denied Soulemane Chabi Yo’s jumper in the final minute. Thirdy Ravena and Matt Nieto iced the game at the charity stripe in the waning seconds.
“Aldin always has a couple of tactical things up his sleeve you know, but we prepared really well. We prepared very intensively. So we had a good look at his systems,” admitted Baldwin.
“They were very well-prepared as well. And there weren’t too many wrinkles.”
Ateneo ended up winning 71-70, handing UST their first loss.
And after the game, Baldwin, who had numerous battles with Ayo the last four years, received the kindest words he ever heard from Ayo.
“I was really happy that he said good game to me after the game. I think that’s the first time ever, you know.
“I just have so much respect for him and the way he does his job, and you know he’s a blessing for Philippine Basketball, for the UAAP,” he expressed.
“Sabi sa’kin, ‘I told you [that] it’s going to be fun’. And I told him, ‘Good game, coach’,” added Ayo.