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    Ateneo two wins from elims sweep, but Tab insists team 'far from perfect'

    Apr 27, 2022
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    ATENEO is two wins away from a second straight sweep of the UAAP eliminations, yet coach Tab Baldwin remains hesitant to buy on his team's hype.

    "We would love to feel confident in ourselves but there's just still too much uncertainty in how we’ve played so far this year," he said.

    The Blue Eagles have been absolutely dominant so far this UAAP Season 84, beating their opponents by an average winning margin of 18.91 points.

    But despite Ateneo's immaculate 12-0 record, much of Baldwin's doubts is rooted on the unfamiliar buildup that the team had to this campaign.

    "Honestly, I don’t have expectations because we just weren't able to have a sort of preseason that we like to have. So for me, there’s a lot of uncertainty coming into the season with our team, and I think the players felt it, too," he said.

    What can't be denied, though, is the relentless effort that the Blue Eagles have put throughout the season as the American-Kiwi mentor has constantly demanded excellence from his wards in an unbeaten run that stretched their historic win streak to 38.

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    "They have worked, and I’m sure all the teams did and we’re all on the same boat," he said.

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    "But the players have really worked tirelessly and sometimes we use that term and it's not really true, but I don't think we had a day off since late January. We haven't had a single day of free day. It's either video, practice, and meetings since late January, and that’s hard work and it's tiring work mentally and physically. And that’s why I’ve been skeptical about how would the team perform."

    Ateneo is still rough around the edges, far from Baldwin's liking, but he's glad that there's a continuous stream of growth as it nears a potential outright Finals berth.

    "This [Adamson game] was a good game and the UST game was obviously a good game, but most of them have been patchy. There are more good patches than bad, but still too many bad patches but we still have games to go," he said.

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    The Blue Eagles complete their elimination schedule against Far Eastern University on Thursday before wrapping it up versus University of the Philippines on Sunday.

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