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Ateneo gives credit to UP’s decent performance

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UP may have lost the game, but they were able to earn the respect of the defending champions.

The Ateneo drew first blood in Game 1, 88-79, but UP really fought hard throughout the game.

If it wasn’t for the Blue Eagles’ 12-1 surge in the crunch time, UP would’ve stole the game in an instant, which is why Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin had some good words for their opponent.

“I think the outcome was in doubt probably up until the last couple of minutes,” said Baldwin.

“(They’re) much more determined, much more cohesive. They understand their personnel, they understand how to create shots much better and they play for one another.’

Ateneo forward Thirdy Ravena also had something to say about UP.

“Hindi biro ang UP,” Ravena claimed.

“They are a different team from the team we met nung elimination round.”

Indeed, UP held its own ground especially in the three-point arc, shooting 13 of their 28 tries.

Therefore, Baldwin is expecting the Fighting Maroons to sustain their offense on Wednesday, which also means that his squad will have to work on their defense.

“We can’t expect anything less on Wednesday from them. We have to expect a lot more from our defense on Wednesday,” Baldwin quipped.