Photo by Jamie Velasco/Courtside Philippines

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Mike Nieto thrilled to play with brother, Matt again, this time, possibly with Gilas

by Reynald Magallon, December 06, 2019 12:15am

Just when it looked like the Ateneo twins Matt and Mike Nieto was about to part ways when they applied for the PBA Rookie draft, the fate just made it twist and gave them another chance to be on the same team once again, this time, possiby with Gilas.

Both Matt and Mike were named in the five players included in a special draft for the Gilas program in the 2019 PBA draft on Sunday at Robinsons Manila. Joining the two are Ateneo teammates Isaac Go, UE's Rey Suerte and San Sebastian's scoring machine Allyn Bulanadi.

"Well, to be honest, we're just telling people that we're ready to go on our separate ways when it comes to the PBA kasi it depends on the team that drafts us but to be honest we're not really ready yet," admitted Mike, the younger of the twins

"God gave us another chance to be with each other and we're just blessed and grateful to be chosen dun sa sasali sa Gilas pool. We're very happy until now magkasama pa rin kami, added the recently crowned UAAP champ.

Under the agreement of the PBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), the five players will be picked by the five teams that will be picking first in the 2019 PBA draft. However, the five won't be joining their mother clubs as they will be on loan for the national team as part of the preparations for the 2023 World Cup which the country will be hosting.

For the twins though, in the smaller scale of things, they are just trying to live up with their father's dream. Mike said it was his dad's dream to become a professional basketball player and they're just carrying it out now.

"Kami ni Matt we're very excited yung pangarap ng father namin na hindi niya natupad before na to become a professional basketball player kasi nag pursue siya maging doctor so nili-live up yung pangarap ni daddy and as a family, we're very excited that this is a new journey for us new chapter in our respective lives and we just wanna savor the moment here," said Mike during the first day of the draft combine at the Hoops Center in Mandaluyong.

Although they'll be playing together with the national team, there will come a time that they will be facing each other on the opposing side of the courts. Asked if he has ever imagined playing against his brother, Mike said it was hard to imagine but they're ready to play against each other.

"Mahirap isipin eh but you have to accept the fact na there's no forever when it comes to the draft picks because it depends on the team that wants you," he said.

"Pero you know, pag kami rin naman ni Matt naglalaro rin sa bahay, one one one we're just comeptitive ayaw rin talaga namin magpatalo and we just promise to the team that drafts us we'll do it our best just like with what we did in Ateneo," Mike ended.

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