MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin credited La Salle for giving them a “hell game” but lamented his team’s shortcomings, especially lack of composure, during the match. their first loss at the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament.
The Blue Eagle lost to the Blue Archer for the first time in five years, 83-78, in front of 12,056 fans on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Baldwin takes nothing away from La Salle coach Derick Pumaren and his men, led by Schonny Winston’s 25-point outburst, insist their opponents deserve the win. sensational.
“Really another classic. I hate being on the pitch after that loss. I think we are responsible, but in a way it is not fair to coach Derick and La Salle. They played a horrible game, a really tough game,” said Baldwin, who also suffered his first defeat to La Salle since the Season 80 Finals in 2017.
But the three-time UAAP champion couldn’t help but appreciate the wasted opportunity, not getting a positive result despite the excellent La Salle taking the lead, 63-41, including 36 attacking goals.
“I can’t help but look at my team and understand our shortcomings in this game that I thought was unnecessary. That’s probably what frustrates you more than actually losing the game. When you give rebound numbers like I’ve never seen, I don’t think in my life, 36 counterattacks, 55% rate, that’s phenomenal,” Baldwin said. “Everybody is legitimately concerned that the pressure at La Salle is taking its toll on the team. And then we came out on the pitch in the second half, we just made six diversions. “
“With numbers like that, I believe we should rightly expect the score to be a lot different. It didn’t,” he added.
The Kiwi-American coach believes his players still lack composure and “needs immediate correction” in their quest to win back the title.
“And I think we had a problem with — let’s say — self-imposed calm. Again, that’s a bit unfair to La Salle, because they were definitely under a lot of pressure in that game,” Baldwin said. “But I think we did things as a basketball team and as individuals that would be extremely detrimental to our ability to compete for the championship. If we don’t fix that, right now, then we can start looking at Season 86.”
When Baldwin was asked how ready his players were to accept the challenge, the coach replied: “It’s their job. They damn better. “
Ateneo missed a lot of shots with a shot rate of 32.6%, with Forthsky Padrigao and Dave Ildefonso combining to make 5 of 32 shots from the field, especially with their key misses in payback period.
The Blue Eagles, who lost 2-1, managed to make a comeback against the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers (1-2) on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
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