Only days after their huge overtime win against the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University was stunned by L-Jay Gonzales and Far Eastern University (FEU).
Gonzales hit a buzzer-beating trey straight to the hearts of the Ateneans, but for head coach Tab Baldwin, this was a defeat that grounded the Blue Eagles (4-4).
“Certainly, congratulations go to coach Denok [Miranda] and the entire FEU team. They pulled it out of the death and they took advantage of the opportunities we gave them in the end,” he said during the post-game.
“We have to, first of all, thank the Lord for such humbling experiences. Sports can often be one of the great humblers. This one today for our team, coming off a big win, was very humbling,” he added.
And more than Gonzales’ shot, it was the toughness of the Morayta-based squad that clinched the game for them.
“That game was not won nor lost. That game was won by FEU by out-toughing us. Fifteen offensive rebounds, getting every loose ball, and just playing with a hunger that we didn’t match,” he said.
“That’s not acceptable for any of us, for the players, or for the coaches, and I think we should all be humbled by that,” he added.
For Baldwin, in addition, it was also a loss that will help them as the season enters its crucial phase, especially since they have already been beaten by FEU twice this season.
“The only thing I have to say about the end-game is L-Jay, twice now against us, has shown a veteran’s composure that we haven’t been able to show in these situations,” Tab said.
“We will obviously individually learn from those scenarios, but they’re not things that we will dwell on. I would much rather dwell on the fact that we weren’t competitive enough. If we have any hopes to have a respectable season this year, those are things we need to address,” he added. (ABS-CBN News)