UAAP: Tab Baldwin says UP clash not a finals rematch as Ateneo gropes for form | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: Tab Baldwin says UP clash not a finals rematch as Ateneo gropes for form

/ 07:49 PM October 21, 2023

Ateneo Blue Eagles UAAP

Ateneo Blue Eagles.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Parading new-look squads this UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament, Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin thinks Sunday’s clash against University of the Philippines doesn’t fit the bill as a finals rematch.

The Blue Eagles, who dethroned the Fighting Maroons to reclaim the crown last season, are far from the squad that won it all with an up-and-down campaign so far through six games as the team banks on new guys led by Joseph Obasa, Mason Amos, Jared Brown as well as holdovers Kai Ballungay, Chris Koon, Sean Quitevis, and Gab Gomez.


Gone is the Blue Eagles’ championship core that featured Ange Kouame, Dave Ildefonso, BJ Andrade and Forthsky Padrigao.


The same can be said for the Fighting Maroons with the likes of Carl Tamayo, Zavier Lucero, James Spencer and Henry Galinato no longer with the squad.

“It’s definitely not a rematch. The names of the teams might be the same but we’re far cry from the same team that went out to play them. We have a lot to prove. And every game is an opportunity for us to prove things. It’s a great scenario to go up against the team that’s beaten [every opponent],” Baldwin said after dominating winless University of Santo Tomas, 97-77, last Wednesday.

“We all really love being underdogs and we hate being the favorites. Goldwin can sweat a little bit this week which we want him to. But come game time on Sunday, he’s gonna be very confident in his team. He’s gonna be very confident in their performance, their strength but he’s gonna worry, during the week, I think our performance [against UST] gave him a few different things to think about,” he added.

UP Fighting Maroons UAAP

UP Fighting Maroons.–MARLO CUETO/

Monteverde, who has steered UP to a 6-0 start following a 67-64 nail-biter against La Salle, downplayed the Maroons’ rivalry with the Eagles as they focus on continuing their winning ways.

“For the team, every game, winning close games or not, we’ll always take that as a learning experience. Especially the team now is a mix of veterans and young guys. They really need this kind of game to grow as a team,” said Monteverde in Filipino.

Anchored by reigning MVP Malick Diouf, UP has no plans of slowing down as it closes in on a first-round sweep.


“We shouldn’t stop. There’s always something we can improve on. As a team, we will really take good and bad games as learning lessons for us. We will continue to look for improvements every game and every practice. It’s non-stop,” said the Season 84 champion coach, who ended a 36-year title drought.

It may be a different UP-Ateneo duel but Baldwin believes the battle for pride remains the same for the finalists of the past two seasons.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“It’s one big fight versus UP fight. We’re getting a little bit used to that over the years, I’m sure the fans will be very enthusiastic about it and we’ll show up. Don’t lose any sleep over that, we’ll be there,” said Baldwin, whose team has yet to win back-to-back games this season.

TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, Goldwin Monteverde, Tab Baldwin, UAAP Season 86, UP Fighting Maroons

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.