ATENEO head coach Tab Baldwin is more than pleased with his players' grace under pressure after two consecutive close victories.
"That’s the silver lining isn’t it? You know, you get these situations that arise that you can’t recreate in practice. These are live. There’s a lot depending on it, and we executed pretty well in critical situations," Baldwin said after their 69-66 overtime win against University of the East on Wednesday.
"We got some buckets on inbounds plays. We got the ball where we wanted to get it. We ran some sets that got the ball where we wanted to get it," he added. "We didn’t always convert, but we executed a little bit better in crunch time, and the results were there."
Ateneo forced overtime by going on a 10-4 run capped by Dave Ildefonso's tying three with 43.3 seconds left in regulation. They were able to smother the final Red Warriors possession of the fourth quarter as well and kept their cool in the extension.
Behind by four in the preliminary stages of overtime, Ateneo went ahead for good after some crucial baskets from reigning UAAP MVP Ange Kouame, made possible by Ildefonso's offensive rebounds.
In their previous contest, Ateneo also came through in the clutch after erasing a 19-point deficit against a desperate FEU team last Nov. 21 and emerged victorious, 71-65.
Locked in a tight race for playoff positioning with a 9-3 record, Baldwin noted the advantage of getting wins through various situations.
"It should pay dividends for us. These are things the coaching staff can get some analysis into the players’ hands which are very, very difficult to recreate in practice," said the former Gilas Pilipinas coach and program director.