ALL along, Tab Baldwin said he knew what was coming in the game against La Salle.
Sadly, Ateneo wasn't prepared for it.
“It was a situation that we anticipated,” the national coach said after the Blue Eagles were dealt an 81-97 beating by the unbeaten Green Archers. “We knew it was coming. And when the reality was in front of us, we weren’t quite good enough.”
The Ateneo coach said he knew how good the Green Archers are. But as the game went on, the disparity between the two rivals in terms of depth, size and experience only became obvious.
Already overwhelmed by Ben Mbala and La Salle's shooters, Ateneo also didn't help its cause by committing more turnovers, 30-17, that led to a 33-17 disparity in terms of points off turnovers.
La Salle also had more steals, 16-4.
“The obligation is for the offensive team is to handle it and we didn’t handle it. They generated 30 turnovers and that will create a lot of problems,” said Baldwin.
Baldwin said the absence of suspended coach Aldin Ayo and injured star Jeron Teng only galvanized the play of the Green Archers.
“They seemed to rally around one another, and their speed up and down the floor was impressive. They are very aggressive around the basketball and around the dribbler,” said Baldwin.
Baldwin can only hope the lopsided loss can serve as a learning experience for the Blue Eagles moving forward.
“We just have to improve ourselves and continue to work at those things that we know is not our strengths and we have to turn our weakness into strengths,” he said.