OVER the course of Ateneo’s five-game rampage to open its UAAP Season 80 campaign, the Blue Eagles have seen different heroes step up each game.
And in their 94-84 win over the winless UST Growling Tigers, it was Matt Nieto’s turn to catch fire.
The third-year guard set a new career best by pumping in 22 points on an efficient 7-of 12 shooting – spiked by four three pointers.
The other half of the Nieto twins scattered 16 of his total output in the middle quarters where they opened a 69-47 lead to create enough of a buffer to turn down the late explosion of the Tigers.
For the 6-foot-1 guard, he’s just basically sticking to his role in the team.
“I'm just doing my job, I'm just finding open lanes, looking for my teammates,” said Nieto.
“Bonus na lang yung nakaka-shoot ako. Basically I'm just doing my job as a point guard and the leader of the team,” he added.
Nieto’s resurgence, though, has been driven by his much improved stroke from beyond the arc, especially in the last two games, making a combined 6-of-9 from long range.
With his defenders respecting that outside shot now, it makes his life a whole lot easier, particularly in penetrating and setting his teammates up.
“Maybe I just improved since last season it was my weakness. I just really practiced hard during the summer break. I'm thankful for my coaches and my teammates for giving the confidence,” he said.