UAAP: FEU gave Ateneo a wake-up call, says Baldwin

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 16 2019 05:20 PM

UAAP: FEU gave Ateneo a wake-up call, says Baldwin 1
Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin. UAAP

MANILA, Philippines -- Ateneo de Manila University head coach Tab Baldwin expressed his gratitude to Far Eastern University (FEU) counterpart, Olsen Racela, after the Tamaraws gave the Blue Eagles one of their hardest challenges yet this season on Wednesday.

In their second round meeting of UAAP Season 82, the Blue Eagles needed to overhaul an 11-point halftime deficit before pulling away for a 65-55 triumph against the Tamaraws.

FEU led by as much as 13 points in the third quarter, the biggest deficit that Ateneo has faced in Season 82.

"FEU certainly gave us the wakeup call in the first half that we obviously needed," said Baldwin after the win, which hiked their record to 11-0.

Baldwin noted that this was already their fourth game in 12 days, but refused to use exhaustion or a lack of focus as an excuse for their performance.

"I don't care if we had 10 playing dates in a row," he said. "When you lose your humility, when you think all you have to do is put your uniform on to be good, you need a wake-up call."

"I wish we never need wakeup calls but we are human. That goes for my coaching staff, me, and our players," he added.

"So thank you to coach Racela for that as well."

The Blue Eagles made both tactical and emotional adjustments at halftime, said Baldwin, after a lackluster effort in the first half. Ateneo was a step slow on both ends of the floor in the first two quarters, committing 16 turnovers while giving up six three-pointers to the Tamaraws.

They locked down defensively in the second half, limiting FEU to just 15 points while becoming more aggressive on offense.

"I gotta give our players a lot of credit for coming out in the second half and standing up who they are supposed to be," said Baldwin.

The coach can only hope that their scare against the Tamaraws is enough of a wake-up call for the Blue Eagles, and they will not need another such contest the rest of the way. Ateneo has three games left in its schedule, playing University of the East (UE), National University, and University of the Philippines.

"If we are anything like what we hope to portray, hope to be, and hope to represent ourselves, we won’t need that again," said Baldwin.

"But we will see because we have another game and another playing date on Sunday with UE," he added.

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