UAAP: Ateneo seeking consistency after latest loss

Ateneo Blue Eagles during their game against the FEU Tamaraws in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Defending champion Ateneo won’t push the panic button just yet after absorbing their third loss in five games in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament on Saturday.

The Blue Eagles suffered their latest setback–a 66-61 overtime defeat to a Far Eastern University side that came into their game with a 0-4 record.

“I think that we’d like to approach this two ways. One is analytically. That’s what we told our players, analyze also the things we did wrong. And, try to learn from them and the things that we’re doing right, we want to keep on improving, get better at it,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga, speaking for head coach Tab Baldwin.

After losing to the Tamaraws for the first time in five years, a winning streak this season remained elusive for the Blue Eagles but they continue to embrace their learning progress.

Ateneo Blue Eagles UAAP

Ateneo Blue Eagles.–MARLO CUETO/

“We want to be able to grow as we play each game and I think that coach Tab said in the dugout that we have to also tell the players to remove ourselves from this particular game and try to look at things in their entirety for us to be able to improve,” said Arespacochaga. “We’re hoping that we see more results not just in wins, but in the consistency in our play. I think that’s very important because for us to be able to play that way in the fourth down 15, we’d like to play that way consistently. And that’s the challenge that is in front of us.”

“Sometimes, it’s actually good to feel the loss. And that’s the reality of sports. There’s a winner, and there’s a loser, sometimes we try to mask or say, no it’s okay, you lost. But in life, sometimes it’s good to feel that loss so that’s something also that we want our players to feel,” he added.

Arespacochaga hopes Ateneo will take care of business against the University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday.

He also lauded the FEU Tamaraws for staving off their fourth-quarter comeback.

“FEU played a very good game. Headed into this game, we could already see that in the previous game of FEU against UP, it went down the wire, and we knew that FEU’s record was not an indication of the kind of team with the way they played last game and today, credit goes to them. They were able to stay. They had composure toward the end,” he said.

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