Baldwin cites pros and cons of Ateneo skipping local preseason tourneys

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Baldwin cites pros and cons of Ateneo skipping local preseason tourneys
Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin

MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin admitted it was a double-edged sword when his team decided to forego joining any local collegiate preseason tournaments in favor of training overseas.

Instead of playing in tiffs like the FilOil EcoOil Preseason Cup, the Blue Eagles found themselves flying to Japan and Israel for their build up for UAAP Season 85.

In the preseason media conference for the men's basketball tournament on Wednesday, Baldwin said that there were both pros and cons in their decision to focus on overseas trainings.

"We were both blessed and not blessed in our preparation. Obviously, the opportunity to travel overseas to Japan, to play in the World University Games and to go to Israel and get both a basketball and cultural experience for our players was really good," said Baldwin.

"But missing out on competing against our UAAP opponents, I think, is something that may come back to bite us a little bit. We certainly missed that," he added.

Baldwin's Blue Eagles will be reeling from the loss of ace guard SJ Belangel, who is now playing in the Korean Basketball League as they look to return to the summit of UAAP basketball.

They relinquished their throne to the UP Fighting Maroons in three games in UAAP Season 84, as the latter ended a decades-long drought of titles in men's basketball.

But the multi-titled coach simply hopes for a competitive season after a short turnaround with the teams playing two seasons this year after the abbreviated tournament earlier this year.

"The short preparation from an abbreviated season is something that I — (and) all the coaches — have to contend with, and I know none of us probably like that." said Baldwin.

"But, hopefully it won't show up, and all the teams will play well, and we compete hard and give all the fans that love the UAAP the experience that they want from the games."

Baldwin's Blue Eagles open their UAAP Season 85 campaign on Sunday, October 2, against the FEU Tamaraws.





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