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    Tab Baldwin not too worried after Ateneo loss: 'We just didn't hit shots'

    Oct 10, 2018
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    BLAME Ateneo's shock 63-60 defeat to Far Eastern University on Wednesday to bad shooting.

    "We just didn’t hit shots," Baldwin rued after the defending champions suffered just their second loss in UAAP Season 81 . "You have days like that. Some days, you come to the office, it’s raining and you know it’s not a good day."

    Ateneo scored only 21 points from the perimeter, down from its league-leading mark of 36.2 per game. The Blue Eagles also made only 16.3-percent of its shots from beyond the three-point arc, way below their 30.6-percent average.

    "We just didn’t hit shots. We got 74 shots to their 51, and we shot 17 free throws to their 11. What do you want in life? You want opportunities. We had ample opportunities and we just didn’t get it done," the former national coach said.

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      Baldwin paid tribute to the Tamaraws' defense after the Eagles fired blanks.

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      "I think you have to give their defense a lot of credit on why we missed shots," said the Kiwi-American mentor. "They have one of the best defenses in the UAAP. Today, their defense was the winner and we were the loser."

      Despite the woeful shooting, Baldwin said he couldn't ask for anything more from his team given how gritty his boys were in the game, saying "certainly the effort was there."

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      "I don’t think you can play a game and force 27 turnovers and get 19 offensive rebounds and feel bad about your effort. So we feel good about our effort," he said.

      To make matters worse for the Blue Eagles, they lost two of their key guys in Matt Nieto to an apparent finger injury in the first half and Thirdy Ravena to a ffith foul with less than four minutes remaining.

      Baldwin, though, was angrier that no one stepped up in the star pair's absence.

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      "We believe in our roster and we expect our roster to come through and get the job done when they're called in no matter what the circumstances are. And tonight, collectively, we didn’t do it," he said.

      "Sometimes, you lose people to injury for a long term. And Thirdy, I thought, probably gave away a couple of fouls he shouldn’t have, but that also happens in basketball games."

      The champion coach reiterated his faith on his players, saying, "You have to have the confidence to step up in that situation and we believe in our players. We believe in our depth, but tonight, we just weren’t good enough."

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      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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