Thirdy Ravena and Matt Nieto are all about Ateneo’s team mentality
The Blue Eagles have always relied on each of their players in almost all of their games this Season 81.
However during the Finals in Game 1, Matt Nieto and Thirdy Ravena shone the brightest for Ateneo in their 88-79 victory against UP Fighting Maroons on Saturday.
Nieto registered a career-high of 27 points while Ravena flirted with a triple-double of 21 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists.
Behind the duo’s performance, it was all about their “Next Man Up” philosophy that fueled them to rise to the occasion.
“Di namin ine-expect yung outcome in terms of individual performance, but ine-expect namin talaga na may mag-step up,” said Ravena.
“Dumating na lang ‘yun. We don’t really look for our scoring lalo na ako, I look forward to executing well,” Nieto explained.
Despite Nieto and Ravena’s individual greatness, Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin was not happy with the team’s overall defense, allowing UP to inch closer through their offense.
“It’s disappointing when our defense doesn’t do its job. When another team shoots 46% from the three, just look at the stats of what we gave up this season,” said Baldwin.
The Ateneo guard also blamed himself for compensating his defensive effort.
“Nung first half, pinagalitan ako. I was not leading the team the right way, and we’re not executing the plays,” Nieto admitted.
“I take the blame.”
Still, the Blue Eagles have the chance to close out the series on Wednesday once Nieto and Ravena would match their production, or in that case, the rest of the team will step up this time.