George Isaac Go is one of five graduating players for the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles who wrapped up their collegiate career on Wednesday.
Along with Thirdy Ravena, Adrian Wong, and Mike and Matt Nieto, the team’s seniors were given a fitting sendoff as they defeated the University of Sto. Tomas Growling Tigers in two games of UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Finals to clinch their 11th UAAP title in history while accomplishing a perfect 16-0 season in the process.
After maxing out his five playing years of eligibility for the Katipunan-based squad, Go opened up about being part of Ateneo’s dynasty and winning three championships in the last four years.
“It’s an incredible feeling. Not everybody gets a chance to play in the finals, not even come four straight finals. So I guess we’re blessed in that sense that we have the opportunity to play the game that we love in one of the biggest stage in the country. It’s not a result of luck or anything else. It’s a result of everybody’s hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. Coming in everyday and working ad we did that, some more than others in terms of years. But it’s been a hell of a ride. It’s sweet and next year’s team is gonna have a big challenge ahead of them,” he shared post-game.
After a standout high school career for Xavier high school, the 6’8 center willingly accepted a back-up role for Ateneo after Angelo Kouame’s emergence.
His sacrifice didn’t escape the eye of head coach Tab Baldwin, and he praised Go for his professionalism and willingness to do whatever it takes to win for Ateneo.
“George is a guy that I didn’t expect a lot from the beginning. I knew he was intelligent. But what he has in terms of the context of our team, he has respect from everybody, including all the coaches, for a person who gives everything he has to give, and we want more. We want more athleticism, we want more speed, we want more quickness. And he tries, he gives everything he’s got. The one thing he gives that we all depend on a bit is that intellect, that basketball IQ. And that calm under pressure. And he’s been for us for forever,” he said of Go.