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Blue Eagles’ high level of work ethic key to their season 82 sweep, says Baldwin

by Niel Victor Masoy, November 20, 2019 10:23pm

There’s a saying that if you put in the work, you’ll get the results that you want.

Well, if you put in a high level of work ethic day in and day out, you’ll definitely get the results that you want. 

For Ateneo de Manila University head coach Tab Baldwin, that’s what his players did this University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 82 Men’s basketball tournament.

And that’s also the key for their championship this season which was highlighted by a 16-0 sweep - which is the first time in UAAP Men’s basketball history.

“I know I'm not always the nicest guy in the room. So it’s very humbling when these men sacrifice their ego, they sacrifice their time,” said Baldwin following Ateneo’s Finals Game Two title-clinching win on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

“What they don’t sacrifice is their love for the game. They lay it out there every day. I think this (third straight title, 16-0 sweep) is the result of that,” he added.

Baldwin even shared that his players’ work ethic made him a better person. But at the same time, his players’ work ethic made him feel guilty and humble as well.

“It is still a basketball season and these men that I work with every day, there’s so much more than basketball players. They can make testimony themselves about that this season has meant to them but I’ll tell you this. It’s made me a better person,” shared Balwin. 

“Working with these guys every day, it makes me a better person because of the quality of their character because of the work rate that they have. It humbles me. Believe me there’s a lot of nights that I go home and feel bad about the demands I put on these guys and sometimes the way I do it.”

For their tireless efforts, the Blue Eagles’ achieved their dream - the 16-0 sweep. For 16 game days, the Ateneo squad can take pride in the fact that they were always the better team.

“The 16-0 season is really something that we dreamed about. We didn’t talk a lot about it because we never wanted to set that as a goal,” shared Baldwin. 

“But I know that the players particularly dream about it and it is a dream season to go through unblemished, to be able to say to each one of those 16 days, no team was better than us. 

“You have to guard against arrogance. You have to guard against overstating what is something that is pretty exceptional. But it still a basketball game.”

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