In their opening-day loss to Adamson University, coach Tab Baldwin cited their turnovers as the primary reason why his Ateneo de Manila University faltered.
Against Far Eastern University (FEU) on Wednesday, the Kiwi-American mentor said it was a simple case of bad shooting and better defense from the Tamaraws why the Blue Eagles absorbed their second loss in the tournament.
Baldwin again offered no excuses in their 60-63 defeat to FEU in Season 81 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament and gave credit to coach Olsen Racela for the defensive game plan that left them misfiring especially in the second half.
“We just didn’t hit the shots. You have days like that. Some days, you come to the office and it’s not raining and you know it’s not a good day,” said Baldwin whose squad shot 16.13 percent (5-of-31) from the three-point area and 29.73 percent overall (22-of-74) from the field.
“I think you have to give their defense a lot of credit. They have one of the best defenses in the UAAP. Today, their defense was the winner and we were the loser,” the former Gilas mentor added.
The Blue Eagles were on their way for their sixth straight win after limiting FEU to just 22 points in the first 20 minutes while scoring 32 to take a 10-point halftime lead.
But everything went south in the second half as Ateneo was held down to just seven points by the Tamaraws defense in the third canto and allowed 17 as FEU seized the momentum of the game.
Despite their offensive struggle and losing, the Blue Eagles had the chance to send the game in overtime but Adrian Wong had to hurry a three-point shot that missed the target.