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‘I Won’t Let Kuya Matt Down’ SJ Belangel steps up for senior Matt Nieto


It was a perfect passing of torch for Matt Nieto to SJ Belangel.

Of course, the outgoing guard led by example when he tallied 14 points, six rebounds, and five assists.

“After ilang years ko sa Ateneo, iyon ang natutunan ko eh — is passing on the torch when it comes to leadership. Now it’s my time lead and give back,” Nieto shared.

But the sophomore guard also made the right and big plays for the Blue Eagles, especially in the payoff period when he scores 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the triple.

“Actually wala talaga, siguro yung mindset ko lang is for my seniors yun lang talaga,” said Belangel.” I won’t let Kuya Matt [Nieto] down, yung mga sinasabi nya sa akin and rine-remind nya ko lagi na galing off na bench na keep the energy, so ayun, siguro mindset ko lang is, this is for my seniors. luckily I hit my shots.”

Indeed, Matt and SJ just tasted another championship when Ateneo outlasted UST, to capture their three straight titles on Game 2 at Mall of Asia Arena.

The young court general credited Kuya Matt, and even Thirdy Ravena for boosting his confidence in the big stage

“Ewan ko niloloko nga ako ni Thirdy (Ravena) na ‘Fireman’ daw akong eh, well, we needed a basket, siguro, lagi point guard yung inaasahan, nakuha ko kay Kuya Matt (Nieto) yung confidence na puso lang,” Belangel bared.

Aside from Nieto, Belangel also credited his fellow guard Tyler Tio, who is also a veteran for the Blue eagles.

“Alam niyo naman na si Kuya Matt ‘di magpapatalo tska syempre kay Kuya Ty (Tio) wag nyo kakalimutan yan, dun ako kumukuha ng confidence sa kanilang dalawa, so ayun na sho-shoot ko.

It seemed that the student has learned from his teacher, as Nieto has succesfully imparted his knowledge and leadership to Belangel.

“Leadership lang talaga, tapos how to handle certain stuff, especially during practices ganun, so ayun yun yung mga natutunan ko just leadership,” the Bacolod native said.