ATENEO coach Tab Baldwin is not losing sleep over Isaac Go’s missed jumper late in the game which allowed La Salle to escape with a win over the Blue Eagles in the final day of the UAAP Season 80 elimination round.
With Ateneo down by one, the Blue Eagles executed a perfect inbounds pass that saw Go all alone in the paint. The Blue Eagles big man, however, flubbing his attempt after being contested by Ben Mbala at the last second.
Ricci Rivero grabbed the rebound and was fouled, hitting two free throws to settle a 79-76 decision over Ateneo.
While it was a crucial miss, Baldwin lauded his players for executing the play late in the game.
“He was actually not the first option on that play but he was exactly where he is supposed to be. It was a great inbound pass by Anton to find him, because we were really looking for something different, and he saw him he was wide open."
Baldwin also said Go made the right decision not to hurry his shot, and settle for a contested shot over Mbala.
“I think George made the right play. I think instead of going straight up with it where Ben has been blocking shots, he shot faked and he had a contested shot. But I think he made the right shot."
“He just missed it. So what? We missed a lot of shots in the game,” said Baldwin.
Go said he hopes to learn from the missed shot, saying that emotions of missing a crucial basket got into him.
“I think I’m still trying to replay it in my mind. But that’s where immaturity of a player comes. Veteran players will just say just shut it off, next play, But I think because emotion overcame… I wasn’t focusing on the next play, on the next game. But I think that’s what coach Tab has been preaching. He wants to have no emotions, next play mentality,” said Go.
“You can’t allow something like that to hinder you,” he added.
Go said he didn’t regret his judgment of taking that shot over Mbala.
“I think he trusted my judgment that I will make the best possible basketball play. Right now, I’m not regretting the shot. It could have been nice to make that. I felt that that was the best basketball play I could have made,” Go said.