UAAP: Gab Gomez provides spark in crucial Ateneo win

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Ateneo Blue Eagles UAAP Season 85

Ateneo Blue Eagles huddle up during their game against the UP Fighting Maroons in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Playing its biggest game of the season so far against defending champion University of the Philippines on Saturday, Ateneo got an unexpected lift from backup guard Gab Gomez.

Gomez stepped up in the fourth quarter for the Blue Eagles after their lead playmaker Forthsky Padrigao cramped up.

“Our mentality is, we always have to be ready. If you get called, just be ready and be ready to do your job,” he said after helping Ateneo top UP, 75-67.

The Fil-Italian Gomez played the entire fourth quarter and finished with five points, including a 3-pointer late in the game, three rebounds and two assists.

His steady play certainly didn’t go unnoticed.

“Forth was struggling again. He’s dealing with some cramping issues, we don’t know the source of it, but it’s happened several times this year. And somebody had to step up, and this is the guy (Gomez) that we’ve nominated to do that job,” said Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin.

“And when you have to go up against guys like Cagulangan, Gonzales, Abadiano, Alarcon, one after another they throw at you, all of these guys [are] great pressure defenders. Gab ran our offense, he made two turnovers, and I think the second one he didn’t even know, he was so tired. Just a tremendous performance,” Baldwin added.

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