Name: Matt Nieto
High School: Ateneo De Manila High School
Committed to: N/A (Incoming HS Senior)
Awards Won/Achievements: 4-Peat SBP Champion, PAYA Champions (MVP), PRADA Champions, Imported to play in Thailand for a school, Starting PG of the RP U16 Team that won the SIlver Medal in the FIBA-Asia Championships
Pre-game ritual: “Prayers lang.” Good Guy Matt!
Song on repeat: Fighter by the Gym Class Heroes
In-Game Kicks: “Lahat ng Kobe’s!”
Post-game Kicks: Jordan 11 Concords
Seniors ready: May gatas pa sa labi. Literally. Ok, fine. Not literally, but the kid is only an incoming senior (one of the two HS juniors in the SLAM Rising Stars Classic along with his twin bro Mike) and is just 16 y.o. So technically he isn’t ready or better yet, eligible.
But with the steady progression he has shown from his sophomore year up to the present (he was already a key contributor and played heavy minutes in the 4th quarter as a PG when he was in 2nd year); and with tons of international experience, Matt will surely be preparing himself well for college ball at the first bounce of the basketball in his senior year.
The smaller of the Nietos isn’t your typical highly-recruited scoring PG dynamo. He isn’t in the mold of a Jerie Pingoy or a Hubert Cani. His decisions on the court aren’t derivative effects of him being a major scoring threat. He isn’t your traditional PG either that gives you little scoring and acts just like a setter in volleyball.
Matt Nieto is right smack in the middle. In terms of being a peegee, he’s a jack of all trades and a master of ONE. That “ONE” right there is defense. HS coaches rave of this guy’s gusto to bend his butt low and slide his feet fast to stifle his man. He’s got good enough explosiveness off the dribble to break his man down (in HS, handles need to be nastier in the seniors). He has turned his “suspect” jumper into “respectable” and he has even extended it to Caidic Country. He’s also a good rebounder for his size. Overall, he is a PG who you can trust your offense with. He is as steady as they come.
Needs work on: Jumper. He wants to turn it to “deadly”.
Projection: Matt might be able to run an NCAA Senior team outside the Final Four right now, at 16. But with his credentials and pedigree, he sure has got game and the work ethic to back that up to play for a big program.
At this point, I repeat, at this point, considering how loaded the PG position is in ADMU, I think he might be a good heir apparent to Baser Amer. Me thinks he’s in the mold of an Anjo Caram.
Photo by Richard Esguerra of UAAP