ATENEO coach Tab Baldwin sees the foul trouble of Ben Mbala and Abu Tratter as a victory for the Blue Eagles as far as containing La Salle’s firepower is concerned.
Mbala scored only eight points as he got into foul trouble early and the Archers bowed to the Eagles in the opener of the title series.
“I thought it was telling that Mbala and Tratter played (54) minutes in the game and have eight fouls. Ikeh and George (Go) played 38 minutes and had nine fouls. We consider it a victory somehow,” said Baldwin.
“It’s crazy to think of that as some sort of victory. But when you play La Salle, it is,” said Baldwin.
The physical series opener saw the Archers and Eagles combine for 47 fouls.
Baldwin and La Salle coach Aldin Ayo were later met by the referees at halftime.
“I’ve never in 35 years had a consultation with a referee at halftime. I thought it was reduntant. They were just saying what is obviously happening and what is obviously continue to happen,” said Baldwin.
Baldwin expects the same kind of physicality in Game Two.
“I don’t expect that we have to think any different going into Wednesday’s game. It’s a second battle of a long war,” said Baldwin.