Ateneo de Manila is set to play two matches against a pair of Division 2 teams in Israel as it revs up its preparation for the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament.
The Blue Eagles have set up camp in Tel Aviv for the past week in the hope of building the team from scratch.
“We only have a couple of games. We are going there to flesh out our system even more. We need more offensive attacks and defensive sophistication,” said Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin.
The Eagles will visit Ramat HaSharon on Saturday before wrapping up their assignment against Elitzur Eito Ashkelon at Zysman Arena on Monday.
Both games will air live on SMART Sports’ Facebook page.
Before heading to Israel, Ateneo only has four games under their belt — three games in the World University Basketball Series in Tokyo and a tune-up against East Asia Super League squad Bay Area.
This time around, Baldwin only has one goal — just to be better.
“Just got to get a lot better. We have had such a disruptive buildup in June and July because of injuries. Ange (Kouame) just came back, Dave [Ildefonso] has only been back a couple of weeks. Same with Matthew Daves,” the decorated head coach said.
“We don’t have settled rosters and combinations that are used to working together. We have to get better and time is running.”
Once they come back, Baldwin looks to rev up the team’s preparations.
“When we come back, we expect to play a lot of games.”