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Sports

Lebron Nieto ready to give his all for Gilas, Ateneo

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Lebron Nieto ready to give his all for Gilas, Ateneo
Lebron Joseph Nieto is the youngest son of Dr. Joseph “Jet” Nieto and a brother of Matt and Mike Nieto.

MANILA, Philippines – Talk about tough acts to follow.

Lebron Joseph Nieto is the youngest son of Dr. Joseph “Jet” Nieto and a brother of Matt and Mike Nieto.

He is named after one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and he carries the surname of a family who has won multiple championships. 

There must be pressure, right?

Pressure for Lebron or Josh — whichever you prefer to call him — is having to beat a double or triple team that is thrown at him during game days.

Pressure is hitting those jump shots that will help the lean Ateneo Blue Eaglets team of Reggie Varilla in the upcoming season.

“Sa lahat ng bagay may pressure. Just enjoy the moments that come with these opportunities. I am proud of my family’s achievements and I am a fan of LeBron James, but I can only be myself and strive to do my best,” deadpanned the six-foot-tall, 17-year-old senior high student at Ateneo.

This will only be Nieto’s second year with the Blue Eaglets after the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic took away two years of his high school life.

“I know that COVID-19 took away many things, but there are also positives to it. You cannot look at it only one way,’ said the youngest Nieto. 

“As a student, I realized how difficult online schooling is kasya sa face-to-face. Ibang adjustment. And of course, I miss my classmates and all the interaction that comes with school life.”

“As an athlete, there were no games for two years. I was supposed to play another year with Forthsky Padrigao, Josh Lazaro and Francis Lopez but it didn’t happen because the games were cancelled.”

“But meron din positives because I got to spend more time with my family and work out with my brothers.

Family is crucial; Lebron’s father and older brothers help correct the flaws in his game. Furthermore, he got to work out with their pro teams aside from having individual coaches like former University of the East stars Allan Caidic and Rob Labagala, and former FEU star Michael Oliver.

Ang key for me as a person and as a student-athlete is to never stop learning and growing,” added Lebron. 

He has, of course, been recognized as one of the top high school players as he participated in S Rising Stars and was a part of the Gilas Under-16 squad that competed last June in Doha, Qatar (the team finished seventh in a field of 13) with current Ateneo teammate Kristian Porter.

Along with Porter, Derek Domangcas and Nathan Asistio, they are expected to carry the cudgels for the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ high school team. 

“It would be nice to win a high school championship like my dad and my brothers, but I also have to be realistic as the other teams are very good. And I look forward to another opportunity to represent the Philippines. Basta ang important, give your best every time you are on the court.”

“And I hope we get to play (the UAAP Juniors tournament is temporarily slated for January of 2023). It has been too long.”

The youngest Nieto is ready to work on the next act of his career.

ATENEO

BASKETBALL

GILAS

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