Blue Eagles bound to hit new heights next season, says outgoing skipper Gboy Babilonia
With the finals experience, young Aaron Black and Thirdy Ravena can improve and help Ateneo rise, says outgoing captain Gboy Balilonia. Jerome Ascano

HE hardly played in the final game of his college career at Ateneo, but Gboy Babilonia was just glad to see the young Blue Eagles mature before his very eyes.

The outgoing Ateneo skipper believes the experience gained from the UAAP Season 79 finals appearance against La Salle would benefit the younger players in the long run.

“With me leaving I hope that we set the foundation for something greater than what we achieved this season,” said the son of the late former PBA player Gido Babilonia.

“Let's see next year. No expectations again but we'll be coming. We'll be coming hard,” he said.

Babilonia could only watch his beloved team fall to a dominant La Salle side led by import Ben Mbala and Finals MVP Jeron Teng.

But he is confident he is leaving the team in good hands. Babilonia is the only graduating player, with Aaron Black and Thirdy Ravena among those expected to develop into much steadier players who would be able to lead the squad.

[See Thirdy Ravena admits succumbing to pressure after firing blanks in Game Two]

"I'm happy with how I contributed to this program for the last five years. Overall, I'm still happy with our performance," said Babilonia.

“Coming to this year we didn’t expect anything,” said Babilonia, noting nobody gave them a chance at the start of the season.

“But we turned heads,” he said.

 “All I can say is I'm very happy for our season. We may not get the championship but I couldn't ask anything more from my guys, for all their hardwork, for what they sacrificed all year. I just want to thank them for giving a fight every game until earlier."

"Inside the dugout, we just shared hugs. We thanked the Lord, discussed few things, held back the tears. We just thanked the Lord for a wonderful season and continued to ask guidance, to be with us, with the team in the years to come," he added.

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[See Baldwin lauds La Salle, plays down praise for overachieving Ateneo: 'We had higher aspirations'

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