Ateneo Blue Eagles’ coach Tab Baldwin said they had a tough time in their first encounter of the season with the Adamson Falcons.
But he hopes things will be different in the second round.
“They did everything it took to win. And you know, we don’t care too much if we win by 20 or 2, so I shouldn’t care too much if we lose by 20 or 2. We need to better in a lot of areas, starting from preparation,” said Baldwin.
The American coach shared his thoughts after the Adamson Falcons came up with a 74-70 upset of the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles last Sunday in the 81st University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Sean Manganti scored only four points, but he knocked in the two winning charities with 13 seconds left.
Jerrick Ahanmisi shot a game-high 23 points for the Falcons, while Papi Sarr connected with eight points, with his jumper in the last 40 seconds shattering a 70-all deadlock.
After Sarr’s last basket, he quickly went to the end of the court and took the defensive rebound after Thirdy Ravena missed the three-pointer.
From there, the Falcons kept possession until the end of the game.
Matt Nieto had 21 points for the Blue Eagles, who lost their chance to overtake Adamson after Thirdy Ravena bungled a three-pointer in the final 27 seconds.
Falcons coach Franz Pumaren felt that the Blue Eagles were complacent in their opening encounter.
“I don’t know if Ateneo was complacent today. But I told them that when they were making a run, I told my players that Ateneo is a very swift team,” said Pumaren.