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Tab Baldwin prepares Ateneo for 'second battle' against La Salle

MANILA, Philippines – The physicality of Game 1 of the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball finals didn't surprise Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin, who expects a similar ball game to play out in Game 2 on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Game 1 saw Ateneo and La Salle combine for 47 fouls, with the most physical moment occurring with less than a minute left in the second quarter. La Salle center Ben Mbala inadvertently hit Ateneo point guard Matt Nieto with his elbow, opening a bloody cut above the Blue Eagle's left eye.

Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin expects La Salle to continue to play a physical game in Game 2 on Wednesday. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN News
Nieto was able to return to the game and played a big role in the Blue Eagles' 76-70 win, but the incident was just one of many that showed the heightened intensity of the game.

"We anticipated that," Baldwin said of the physical contest against the Green Archers.

According to the veteran mentor, a tough, grind-it-out, overtly physical game is expected whenever Ateneo plays against the defending champions – a team that prides itself on its pressure defense.

Author: Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
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