The first quarter is basically the story of the game as Rabah Al-Husaini stamped his height and might rightaway. Jai Reyes drives to the hoop and passes the ball to Rabah, the big guy scores and gets fouled- he sinks the bonus for a 3-0 count. Dejavu, Jai passed the ball to Rabah again and he scores. Then the next play Ryan passes the ball to Rabah who drives to the hoop, scores and then gets fouled again- Rabah sinks the bonus 8 – 0. To cap it all up Rabah scores on a jumper as Ateneo opened the quarter with a 10-3 lead thanks to the Al-Husaini scoring tutorial. The game plan was that Rabah was suppose to score the first 78 point, but unfortunately he got tired. Rabah scored 14 first quarter points as Ateneo led 22-11 after one quarter of action.
Inconsistencies marred the play of the Falcons as they buckled in some stretches with the Eagles going to Eric Salamat and Jai Reyes who scored 5 and 4 points respectively while the rest of the team added 10 points on different set of plays. The Falcons just matched the scoring of the Eagles and was not organized on defense and relied more on some steals by Jeric
The Falcons started the third quarter with renewed energy as they threatened the Blue Eagles as they cut their lead to just six 39-45 as Jan Colina, Jerick Canada and Paul Gonzalgo showed that they are not about to be shut down. Ateneo calls a timeout and goes back again to their prized center. In the first game between these two teams, Rabah Alhusaini scored only 2 points and in this quarter Rabah scored another 10 points off the passes of Chris and Eric on the fast break. From a six point lead the Eagles shut down the falcons to take a 59-41 lead. Alex Nuyles helped weather the storm as he conspired to a 7-0 wind up to be within striking distance after three quarters as they face a 48-59 deficit.
Chris took only three shots but we still won
Notably missing in the scoring parade was Mike Galinato of the Falcons who was scoreless in this game. Chris Tiu, who scored 29 points against UST and averages almost 15 points per game, took only three field goals and scored only two points from two free throws in the 2nd quarter. With nine wins and only UE and DLSU standing in their way, the Blue Eagles are poised to get the number seeding for the eliminations, the last time they were in this position was in 2006 with which they entered the finals and lost to the Growling Tigers. Hope springs eternal as we pray for a good wind up of the Blue Eagles in the eliminations.