IT'S been a while since the Nieto brothers had great outings in the same game.
That's why it truly was a pleasure for the twins that they were two of the catalysts in Ateneo's 81-69 victory over La Salle on Sunday.
"Super special," quipped Matt, who had 15 points and three rebounds in the win. "Ang sarap ng feeling. Parang nag-flashback kami, pagtingin ko sa court, nakita ko si Mike na may outstanding game din."
Mike, who led the Blue Eagles with 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists, agreed.
"Na-miss namin yun. Nung juniors nga kasi, palaging sabay yung good games namin eh," he said.
The Nietos provided the kryptonite to the athleticism displayed by this retooled La Salle squad as Ateneo staged a telling 21-1 second quarter run that allowed it to take grip of the game, 51-29, at halftime before holding on in the end.
If it seemed that the brothers had a conscious effort of performing to the best of their capabilities, Mike admitted that there truly was a motivation knowing that this will be one of the last few rivalry games they'd have to play for the blue side.
"To be honest, bilang na rin kasi ang Ateneo-La Salle games namin eh. So what a way to start our La Salle series this season with a big win," said the 6-foot-2 forward.
And it only brings the Nietos joy that they were able to do so, especially with the lights at their brightest in this game between storied foes.
"Playing in a big game like Ateneo-La Salle, it's really special to have your twin brother beside you, playing his career game," shared the 6-foot guard Matt. "I'm proud of his accomplishments and his hard work."