Matt ‘super proud’ of twin bro Mike as Nietos win 1st men’s title | Inquirer Sports

Matt ‘super proud’ of twin bro Mike as Nietos win 1st men’s title

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 03:44 PM December 04, 2017

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Twins Matt and Mike Nieto have always been a tandem since their days with the Ateneo Blue Eaglets, yet when the two moved on to become part of the Blue Eagles, it was clear that Matt was the quicker one to adjust to the collegiate game.

Matt was a mainstay in the brothers’ first three years in the seniors’ playing field while Mike struggled, appearing in only five games in their rookie year.

Three years on, and shedding more than 30 pounds off his high school playing weight of 220 lbs, Mike has established himself as a quality player for the Blue Eagles and Matt couldn’t be happier.

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“I’m super proud of Mike, I don’t know if you guys know, he worked so hard outside of basketball just to adjust to the collegiate level,” said Matt in Filipino when he and Mike helped Ateneo to an 88-86 Game 3 win to win the UAAP Season 80 title for Ateneo Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Mike initially played center and power forward in high school despite standing barely above six feet, but got through using his wide body and heft to compensate for his lack of height against other teams’ frontline.

And although he was accustomed to playing in the post in high school, a time when he won the MVP award, Mike was forced to adjust and become a wing man.

“From being a center to being an off guard, it really takes hearts and guts, and my brother was incredibly motivated,” said Matt, the younger of the twins. “I can say that he’s a one of a kind person because he was very dedicated to his goal and to be able to trust the team and be the leader of the team, he found his role.”

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Mike eventually changed his style and became an instrumental piece for Ateneo, helping the Blue Eagles’ 78-70 win in the first game of the finals series, scoring 11 points and grabbing five boards.

“Winning the title with my twin brother, it’s extra special because we’ve been through a lot. All the doubts, all the haters, we’re glad as a team that we proved them wrong and we just stuck with one another.”

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TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, matt nieto, Mike Nieto, Sports, UAAP Season 80

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