MANILA – Some people think Ateneo de Manila University remains the team to beat this year, but its head coach prefers to look at it one game at a time.
Tab Baldwin said that while the Blue Eagles have gone through a lot of pre-season games, this won’t necessarily reflect the outcome in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
“I don’t really think [we are the team to beat] in terms of defending the championship,” he said.
“We played a lot of games in the summer, every team has, but the UAAP is a different animal,” he added.
“You cannot emulate the stress, the tension, and feel when you actually go on play… We don’t choose to try to look beyond that one game in terms of setting goals.”
Far Eastern University mentor Olcen Racela is one of at least two coaches who said that it would be hard to beat Ateneo.
“Everyone has a fair chance, but the best chance, siyempre, is Ateneo,” said Racela. “I think I’ll be surprised if they lost a game in the eliminations.”
University of the East head coach Joe Silva shared the same opinion: “[It’s going to be] Ateneo, and then everybody else.”
The remaining coaches, meanwhile, had the same statement as Baldwin, saying they prefer to take it one game at a time.
“For now, we’re not thinking of the final 4. We’re thinking about our first game on Sunday,” said Soaring Falcons deputy coach Don Allado.
“I hope we make it to the final 4,” said La Salle head coach Louie Gonzalez.
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