Ateneo banks on ‘Tactical and Emotional’ adjustments to humble themselves
A wake-up call usually happens when a team drops their game, especially when it is a crucial one.
But Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin has his own definition of “wake-up call”.
For the first time in Season 82, the Blue Eagles saw themselves trailing by double-digits in the first half, 40-29.
“First of all, huge credit to coach Olsen Racela and his coaching staff for getting his team extremely well prepared for that game. They did a great job in the first half, and even in the second half, they stuck to their game plan,” Baldwin said.
Ateneo has yet to drop their game since October 10 of last year, when they fell under the hands of FEU as well.
“We had to make adjustments. Which is okay to have to make adjustments. You prefer to make tactical adjustments rather than emotional adjustments. I think at halftime we had to do both,” Baldwin shared.
Fortunately, Ateneo began to assert their dominance in the second half by limiting the Tams to just 13 points — which eventually paved the way for a 65-55 comeback win to keep their slate clean.
“The guys, they became who we believe we are in the second half. Defensively, we really locked down, defensively we rebounded better the ball much better, and players went out in the second half with a purpose that we didn’t have in the first half,” said the American-Kiwi mentor.
This was enough for Baldwin to consider this game as a fair warning to his squad.
“FEU certainly gave us the wake-up call in the first half that we obviously needed. I don’t care if we had 10 paying dates in a row 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,” he shared.
“I wish we never did wakeup calls. But we are human that goes for my coaching staff, me, and our players.”
Baldwin gave credit to FEU head coach Olsen Racela for giving them a tough but much-needed test for his team.
“So thank you to coach Racela for that as well.”