BEHIND every successful run executed by brothers Matt and Mike Nieto for Ateneo is an unspoken encouragement from their father Jet Nieto — whose gaze never fails to light a fire under the twins when it's most needed.
"Ever since we were kids, eye-to-eye contact lang, alam mo na 'yung sinasabi niya sa amin eh. So, every time we struggle, every time may momentum 'yung kalaban, or every time na hindi maganda ‘yung situation, we just look at Daddy," Matt shared.
Having that motivational connection with their dad, Matt said he shot him a glance the UST Growling trimmed a 16-point lead to just one, 67-66, in the fourth quarter with 7:49 left, and the Blue Eagles quickly recovered.
“Noong nagra-run 'yung UST, actually tumitingin ako kay Daddy, kasi siya 'yung comfort namin e. Siya pa talaga 'yung tumatawag sa amin, and malaking bagay 'yun as a player 'cause you know your dad is going to be there, your first coach is going to be there, always," revealed Matt, who tallied 14 points, six rebounds, and five assists.
The tables have turned for the Nieto brothers, as it was them who were watching their father Jet play for Ateneo 17 years ago. The twins could only express gratitude for their family's utmost support since day one.
"Si Daddy umiyak lang sa sobrang tuwa. Nagpasalamat lang kami ni Matt kay Daddy, Mommy, kay Josh, tsaka sa sister namin," Mike said. "During our struggles in college, sila naman 'yung numero uno na sumusuporta and nagtiwala sa amin, lalo na si Daddy. Sobrang blessed kami na palagi siyang nandito para sa amin. Gusto naman namin na may ma-inspire kaming mga bata na kagaya namin before."
He had three points, five rebounds, and two assists to cap off his collegiate career with Ateneo.