The Eagles started with Nonoy Baclao, Ryan Buenafe and Rabah Al-Husaini up front with Jai Reyes and Chris Tiu as the guards. The Warriors on the other hand had Elmer Espiritu, Gino Etrone & Pari Llagas at the frontcourt while James Martinez and Marcy Arellano manned the back court.
The first quarter saw both teams try to be deliberate and set up their offense. Unlike their game in the NSL championship where the Warriors rained outside shots, the Eagles were prepared for the sweet shooting Warriors as they more than often had a hand in the face of its shooters. Elmer Espiritu started things for the Warriors with two quick baskets and a jumper while Nonoy Baclao & Chris Tiu countered with four points each for the Eagles. The Warriors were leading 9-8 for quite sometime as both teams exchanged defensive gems and forced each other to turnovers. Just like the game against Adamson, Coach Norman rotated the Eagles on the floor as the game progressed with Yuri Escueta, Nico Salva, Jobe Nkemakolam, Eric Salamat and Bacon
The second quarter saw the Eagles rack up some points right away as they raced to a 21-13 lead with Chris Tiu, Nonoy Baclao, Eric Salamat & Rabah Al-Husaini combining to give the Eagles that lead. The Eagles were playing an excellent team game as evidenced by one play which had Jai drop a pass to Nonoy Baclao who upon seeing the double team come passes the ball to a surging Jobe Nkemakolam and the Eagles take a 23-15 lead. Then the Warriors came back, James Martinez nails a three while rookie Paul Zamar beats the shotclock for another UE three and Pari Llagas scored four points inside. Before you know it the Red Warriors took control of the game with a 14-5 run to end the first half on top 27-26. UE was 4 of 9 from the three point area while the Eagles was zero of 2 from beyond the arc. The Warriors also controlled the boards with a 25-15 advantage in rebounds.
Yesterday the DLSU Green Archers led by Jayvee Casio’s 29 points barged into the win column with a 73-62 win over the FEU Tamaraws. They are joined by the UST Growling Tigers who bounced back as they unleashed their true form with a rout over the UP Fighting Maroons 94-75. Earlier the Adamson Falcons defanged the NU Bulldogs 73-65 courtesy of Mark Agustin’s awesome 25 points game. Adamson is now 1-2 while the Bulldogs are the only winless team. Next stop for the Blue Eagles the hosts, UP Fighting Maroons. Good luck to the Eagles and I hope they get their fourth straight win.