UAAP: Baldwin expects Dwight Ramos to make an impact for Ateneo

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 22 2020 04:34 PM

UAAP: Baldwin expects Dwight Ramos to make an impact for Ateneo 1
Dwight Ramos (32) poses with former Ateneo point guard Matt Nieto. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines -- Even with the departure of five core players, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles are still expected to be among the top contenders in UAAP Season 83.

The Blue Eagles completed the most dominant campaign in recent UAAP history last year, when they went a perfect 16-0 in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament en route to their third straight championship.

Afterward, they bid goodbye to their veterans -- Thirdy Ravena, Matt and Mike Nieto, Isaac Go and Adriang Wong -- all of whom played huge roles in their campaign. Ravena, in particular, concluded his UAAP career as a three-time Finals MVP.

Nonetheless, Ateneo is still considered a favorite for next season's tournament, thanks to the presence of Ivorian center Ange Kouame who has anchored their defense for the past two years, along with up-and-coming players like SJ Belangel and Gian Mamuyac.

Another player who is expected to become a big factor for Ateneo is Dwight Ramos, a recruit from California State Polytechnic University Pomona who served his residency in 2019 and has two years of eligibility left in the UAAP.

"I'm not big on talking about individual player impact," Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin said when asked about what he expects from Ramos during an appearance on the "Coaches Unfiltered" podcast.

"But certain players like Ange Kouame do have an extraordinary impact on your roster and on the games. I think Dwight has a chance to make a significant impact," he admitted.

Baldwin explained that Ramos' impact may not show itself in the raw statistics. The Blue Eagles have not generally put up overwhelming numbers during Baldwin's tenure, a function of their system where no player averaged more than 25 minutes per game. 

Yet the 6-foot-4 Ramos -- whom Baldwin describes as a "very intellectual player" -- will certainly make his presence felt.

"Dwight's the kind of player that has across the board impact in a game," Baldwin said.

"He's not just a great athlete with very good skills, but he impacts the game," the coach explained. "He impacts the court spacing by how he plays offensively and defensively. He's very, very unselfish."

"He impacts what we can do tactically because he's a very good rebounding guard. He can play multiple positions," Baldwin added. "So his impact, I think, is going to be significant."

Ramos showed a glimpse of what he can do when he was included in the Gilas Pilipinas lineup for the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers. He played 16 minutes in the Philippines' game against Indonesia in February, putting up 5 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in a 100-70 win.

The 20-year-old Ramos is expected to make his debut in Season 83, along with his younger brother, Eli. 

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