MANILA—The Ateneo Blue Eagles might have walked away with a convincing 70-52 victory over Adamson on Wednesday, but the game did not come easy for the defending champions.
While he praised the Blue Eagles' defense, head coach Tab Baldwin did not like the fact that his team shot 36% from the field and 16% from 3-point territory.
“We have defensive schemes and we try to achieve that. And I thought defensively, you know, apart from a couple of lapses, we were pretty good. But unfortunately, it looked like we did never shoot a basketball before today. So pretty abysmal,” Baldwin said after the season-opening win.
The Blue Eagles seemed to be on a roll in the first half and in the early part of the third quarter establishing a big separation, including a 22-point advantage after a 10-0 run off Isaac Go and SJ Belangel efforts.
Adamson rallied though, as Val Chauca caught fire in the second half, leading the Falcons' 13-0 spurt and capping it with back-to-back triples to cut the lead to 48-39. It shrank further to 5 points.
“We're not taking care of the ball the way we should. I think we're just in a little bit too much of a hurry at the offensive end, and no need for that, you know. I expect more from the players, more composure, more professionalism,” Baldwin said.
The Eagles withstood the late run of Chauca and company with a 13-0 closeout in the final period.
“So happy that one is over. I want to commend the boys for the way they rebounded the ball. We knew that Adamson would really attack us on the boards. And I think we did a great job on the boards. Will Navarro, Ange [Kouame], Thirdy [Ravena] did a real good job on the boards,” former national team coach said.
He also lauded their impressive defense on Adamson’s main man, Jerrick Ahanmisi, who was limited to 7 points and 25% shooting.
“I think that you know, defensively we covered a lot of ground, we worked pretty hard,” Baldwin quipped.
The Blue Eagles' next game is against La Salle on Sunday.
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