All’s well in Ateneo as Final 4 approaches
There’s no trouble brewing in the Ateneo camp. It was—quite comically—just a case of lip-reading gone wrong.
There were shockwaves after a few people saw Thirdy Ravena allegedly mouth some cuss words at Isaac Go, who missed a potential game-winner against rival La Salle, but both players quickly clarified the incident.
The truth? Ravena just told Go to keep his head up after the botched play.
“What really matters is the next game, right? FEU,” said Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin as his Blue Eagles gear up for their UAAP Final Four showdown against Far Eastern U on Sunday.
That’s how it has been for most of the Ateneo’s campaign this season. They get the job done and move on to the next. Or, in the case of last Sunday’s showdown against the Green Archers—the Blue Eagles’ first loss after coming so close to a perfect elimination run—they learn from it and move on to the next.
“Things like sweeps and undefeated seasons are things you dream about, but you got to leave them behind pretty quick,” said Baldwin. “Even if we [completed a sweep], we got to leave it behind because the golden apple that we’re after is still in front of us.”
The golden apple, of course, would be Ateneo’s first UAAP crown in five years since winning five straight titles under legendary coach Norman Black.
“We still have to win the title,” said Baldwin. “So now, we just have a different route to try and do what we really want to do.”
Blocking the Blue Eagles’ path now are the Tamaraws (7-7), who have been unpredictable all season.
Go, who played under Olsen Racela in the Philippine youth team, also knows how the FEU coach can steer the Tamaraws to an upset win. And there’s also Go’s former national youth star teammate Arvin Tolentino at the helm of FEU’s bid.
“Coach Olsen? He knows how we play because a lot of us played in the RP Team,” said the 6-foot-7 Go. “They have their dribble-drive offense, they have Arvin, they have stars there that can score at will. You’ve got to prepare.”