UAAP: Ateneo losing two months' worth of practice time due to quarantine, says Baldwin

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 16 2020 12:37 PM | Updated as of Apr 16 2020 06:36 PM

UAAP: Ateneo losing two months' worth of practice time due to quarantine, says Baldwin 1

MANILA, Philippines -- Defending UAAP men's basketball champion Ateneo de Manila University is losing out on precious practice time due to the enhanced community quarantine, head coach Tab Baldwin said.

Speaking with Nikko Ramos on the Call to Arms podcast, Baldwin admitted that the lockdown imposed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic has had quite an impact on the Blue Eagles.

"This is where, if anything, has hurt our program more than anything else, it's gonna be this quarantine," said Baldwin, who discussed a variety of topics including his time as Gilas Pilipinas head coach and his role with the TNT KaTropa in the PBA.

"This is incredibly valuable time that we used to work on our players individually," he explained. "So we're losing, in the end, at least two months of extremely valuable practice time for us."

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced virtually all sports events in the Philippines to stop, especially after the government imposed the enhanced community quarantine in March. Last week, the UAAP officially cancelled the rest of its events when the quarantine was extended to the end of the month. 

Like most other teams, the Blue Eagles have been unable to practice together during the lockdown, with players only working out on their own. 

"I don't know how we will recover from that," Baldwin said. "But we'll do our best."

Baldwin steered the Blue Eagles to an undefeated campaign in UAAP Season 82, with Ateneo sweeping University of Santo Tomas in the finals to secure their third consecutive men's basketball title. Afterward, they bid goodbye to their championship core -- three-time Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena, Matt and Mike Nieto, Isaac Go, and Adrian Wong. 

Yet even as several key contributors wrapped up their collegiate careers, the Ateneo program barely lost a step. They welcomed back Dave Ildefonso, who decided to transfer to Ateneo after a couple of seasons in National University, as well as brothers Eli and Dwight Ramos.

"One of the pillars that we have is that we never look backwards," Baldwin noted. "We don't believe in dwelling on a mistake, and we don't believe in celebrating a win for an extended period of time, no matter how big that win was."

"In the same vein, we don't look at what we lost. We look at what we have," he added. "And we believe in our work ethic, we believe in our talent, we believe in our character."

"And we believe in our team."

Baldwin assured that their team is ready to get back to work when the lockdown is lifted and they can again train together.

"We just keep the wheels rolling," he said. "We don't think about what's gone. We think about what's going."

"We just can't wait to get back together and get back on the court, and start developing."

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).