MATT Nieto yearns for a reunion for the old Blue Eaglets trio, hoping Jolo Mendoza would join him and his twin Mike at the Ateneo Blue Eagles next next season.
The Blue Eaglets bowed to the Junior Archers in the second phase of the stepladder playoffs, with Mendoza’s high school career ending in disappointment. It was a much different ending from last year, when the Eaglets won the title and Mendoza was named Finals MVP.
Mendoza was too distraught to talk about what’s next for him when asked by reporters, but his former teammate Nieto hopes that Mendoza as well as the other graduating players will still remain with Ateneo for college, more so since he considers him as a little brother.
“I really hope they play in Ateneo lalo na si Jolo para magsama-sama na ulit kaming tatlo together with Mike,” said Nieto, an incoming sophomore with the Blue Eagles.
“They have what it takes sa seniors. I’ve seen them play and I’m sure they can contribute something in the seniors level,” he added.
Mendoza and the Nieto twins spearheaded the Blue Eaglets’ run to the title last year, sweeping the elimination round before beating National University for the crown.
Matt said he was sad for his former teammates about missing out on back-to-back titles but insisted there was nothing to be ashamed of about the Blue Eaglets’ end to their Season 78 campaign.
“It’s very hard to accept the loss and masakit most especially the seniors but I’m sure even though they lost, they are still proud of themselves because they gave their best. I’ve been most of them lalo na si Jolo, who is like my little brother, and it’s sad seeing them lose.
“But life goes on. It’s not the end of the world. You can apply the lessons not only in basketball but outside basketball as well. It’s never the destination that matters but the brotherhood and the journey with them,” said Matt.