Wednesday’s game will be a chance for the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles to forever etched their names in the record books.
Not only does the Tab Baldwin-mentored team have a shot at three consecutive UAAP Men’s Basketball titles, they can also finish the entire Season 82 without a single blemish in their record.
The last team to achieve a perfect season was the University of Sto. Tomas who went undefeated in 14 games in Season 56 back in 1993.
But as far as Baldwin is concerned, his team just wants to close out the season and think about the feat once they win the championship.
“We just want to be 1-0 from here,” he said after Ateneo’s 91-77 Game One win over the UST Growling Tigers last Saturday.
“We don’t really care what’s going on in the past. Each of those games was won because we took those games seriously and tried to play our best game in that game. We have one game left. If we win it… And we just want to be 1-0. Whatever people want to say after that game is up to their perceptions of this team. We understand that this game on Wednesday is a chance to finish the season. And then we’ll let all of you talk about what you think about the team, what you think of whatever is related to our team. Believe me, we just want to play this game on Wednesday well, play it really well. Win the game and whatever comes with that, comes with that. We don’t want our focus on anything else. Especially any talk about records or anything like that. Let’s just play this game on Wednesday and do the best we can,” he added.
The Kiwi-American tactician also addressed earlier concerns that his team might display some rust after a long lay-off, as they waited who will emerge out of the stepladder semis.
“I always thought the big break was an advantage, not a disadvantage. I’m a big believer in preparation. I think if you give me as a coach more preparation time, that’s gonna be an advantage for our basketball team,” he shared.
“We never bought into the stuff about a long layoff makes you rusty and things like that. Not working makes you rusty. Working makes you not rusty. And we worked. We worked hard. But we’re not prepared to say that it has won us anything yet because all it’s done is get us to the next game.”