Despite D-League title romp, Baldwin expects more from Ateneo

Tab Baldwin says the Ateneo Blue Eagles are far from ready for their three-peat bid in the UAAP

Rappler.com

Published: 1:27 AM June 26, 2019

Updated: 1:27 AM June 26, 2019

KINGS OF COURT. The Ateneo Blue Eagles capture the 2019 PBA D-League crown. Photo from PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles may have won the 2019 PBA D-League crown, but head coach Tab Baldwin is far from impressed with his wards. 

"I think we've kind of been cruising a little bit up to this point in time, and now we'll really toughen things up now," he said after the Blue Eagles beat the CEU Scorpions in 4 games of the best-of-five duel on Tuesday, June 25. 

Ateneo has constantly dominated games, mostly winning by double-digit margins and suffering only two losses in the entire tournament. 

A few of the Blue Eagles' graduating seniors – Thirdy Ravena and Isaac Go – even earned a slot in the Mythical Team, with the latter capturing the MVP award

Baldwin, though, believes Ateneo has plenty of work to do before it achieves its peak form as it heads into the new UAAP season seeking a third straight championship. 

"We're not ready, we're not even close," he said. 

"We're still babies right now in terms of our system development. We have a long way to go. We are not ready for the UAAP, but we will get there." 

Still, Baldwin was happy with the title – the Blue Eagles' second in the offseason after ruling the Philippine Collegiate Champions League. 

"It's good to win a championship. I think our goals for the D-League are accomplished," he said. 

"We wanted to begin to develop our systems and trial ourselves against somebody other than practice players and our practice environment." – Renee Ticzon/Rappler.com