So I watched the 1st of the three games in the Finals round of the UAAP season 71 between the Ateneo Blue Eagles and the La Salle Green Archers. It was no surprise to me that Ateneo won. 69-61. Big big props to Rabeh Al-Hussaini, the undeniably the best player of the game this afternoon. He really exploded into action and showed everyone, especially La Salle that a powerful man playing center is a key element in winning a basketball game.
Other Blue Eagles that shined in the game were Jai Reyes with his killer three-pointers, Salamat with his great moves and Nonoy Baclao for the unseen force beneath the basket. It’s true, he is the unsung hero of the Ateneo team. As for Chris Tiu, well he spent much of the game warming the bench. Maybe he was being reserved for last by Coach Norman Black but it didn’t matter, for the rest of his team proved that they could still stand up against the Green Archers and win, which they did, even without their star player.
As for the Green Archers, well, I’ll just borrow my younger sister’s own words about the game;
Ang shunga, shunga ng La Salle! Parang mga ewan!
Take note, we are both La Salle students but like I said, my sister has best described the Green Archers’ game this past afternoon. Really disappointing and unbelievable. Casio’s shots were off the mark, he was clumsy with the ball most of the time and he spent less time on the court. Rico Maierhoffer did a great job for La Salle’s effort but he was practically alone today. Rookie LA Revilla deserves a big pat on the back for his brave game this afternoon, he is truly a promising player. Plus, their defense was a mess. They really needed a strong center player because under the basket, Blue Eagle shirts were flying left and right and all over them scoring points which cost them today’s game.
Sure they were better than the Blue Eagles at the free throw line but that’s boring basketball so the boys from La Salle would have a lot of re-thinking, planning and practice to do if they are to retain the UAAP championship this season.
However, my silent prediction made from the start of the season may really become true, this season is most likely a Blue Eagle season. My fellow La Salle fans may hate me for this but after seeing today’s game, it’s painfully hard to accept it as a reality that is soon to materialize.
Game two is on this coming Thursday. All fingers are now crossed as it will be a do or die game for the Green Archers. Would they pull through? I’m hoping for it.