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Baldwin says Ateneo regains ‘fight’ in win vs La Salle

Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin said that the Blue Eagles did not have the 'fight' in them when they fell to the National University Bulldogs in the opening game of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 men's basketball tournament last Saturday, September 30.

That is why Baldwin said it is rewarding for the defending champs to have regained that fight against their rivals, the De La Salle Green Archers, whom they defeated, 77-72, at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, October 4.

Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin said that the Blue Eagles did not have the ‘fight’ in them when they fell to the National University Bulldogs in the opening game of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 men’s basketball tournament last Saturday, September 30. That is why Baldwin said it is rewarding for the defending champs to have regained that fight against their rivals, the De La Salle Green Archers, whom they defeated, 77-72, at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, October 4. “I think a lot of people got really excited about this but it’s [just] the second game of the season and it’s a great rivalry game between two proud universities. Obviously, we’re delighted we won that. Most importantly, I think we found some fight that was lacking in the last game and to find it here is very rewarding,” said Baldwin. “However, the quality of performance needs to be better but I think it will get better. This is a tough game to try and go out and be efficient. When you have the emotion and intensity of the opposition, I’m pretty happy we only play La Salle twice in the regular season. It’s a pretty exhausting affair out there. Topex [Robinson] is still young so he’s probably wanted to go for two more quarters but I was ready for that thing to be over.” If there’s someone from the Blue Eagles who epitomized the ‘fight’ Baldwin was talking about, it has to be Kai Balungay. The 6-foot-7 Balungay dropped 18 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, 12 of which came from the offensive as Ateneo came from behind to go 1-1 this season. After the game, Baldwin made sure he recognized Balungay. “I don’t often do it but a big shoutout to this guy sitting on my right [Balungay], 12 offensive rebounds out of 27,” he said. “Twenty-seven is a massive rebounding performance, which is indicative that our guys came to battle. For Kai to pull down 12 of those is — I mean, 12 offensive rebounds, that’s beyond Ange Kouame-esque, and that’s really saying something.” Baldwin, however, will not dwell on Ateneo’s win against La Salle as he is fully aware that the Blue Eagles need to refocus right away when they face the dangerous Adamson Soaring Falcons on Saturday, October 7. “I’m very proud of the guys. You guys [the media] can do it [frame this] in whichever way you want but we will be trying to keep it in this perspective and understand that we have a big game this weekend,” said Baldwin.

“I think a lot of people got really excited about this but it's [just] the second game of the season and it's a great rivalry game between two proud universities. Obviously, we're delighted we won that. Most importantly, I think we found some fight that was lacking in the last game and to find it here is very rewarding,” said Baldwin.

“However, the quality of performance needs to be better but I think it will get better.

This is a tough game to try and go out and be efficient. When you have the emotion and intensity of the opposition, I'm pretty happy we only play La Salle twice in the regular season. It's a pretty exhausting affair out there.

Topex [Robinson] is still young so he's probably wanted to go for two more quarters but I was ready for that thing to be over.” If there's someone from the Blue Eagles who epitomized the 'fight' Baldwin was talking about, it has to be Kai Balungay. The 6-foot-7 Balungay dropped 18 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, 12 of which came from the offensive as Ateneo came from behind to go 1-1 this season. After the game, Baldwin made sure he recognized Balungay. “I don't often do it but a big shoutout to this guy sitting on my right [Balungay], 12 offensive rebounds out of 27,” he said.

“Twenty-seven is a massive rebounding performance, which is indicative that our guys came to battle.

For Kai to pull down 12 of those is — I mean, 12 offensive rebounds, that's beyond Ange Kouame-esque, and that's really saying something.” Baldwin, however, will not dwell on Ateneo's win against La Salle as he is fully aware that the Blue Eagles need to refocus right away when they face the dangerous Adamson Soaring Falcons on Saturday, October 7. “I'm very proud of the guys.

You guys [the media] can do it [frame this] in whichever way you want but we will be trying to keep it in this perspective and understand that we have a big game this weekend,” said Baldwin.

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Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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