Norman Ihalas stole the ball and scored on a fastbreak
I was excited when I heard that my two favorite teams were about to play each other. The Olympians were champions in 2007 and the Blue Eagles in 2008 and 2009 and I hope this will be the year when both teams would win the title! It would be something great for me personally. Last March the Olympians played the Blue Eagles at the STI Gym and the Olympians was beaten badly by the team from Katipunan and today I was hopeful that it wont be the case.
Jerald Bautista goes for the loose ball
For me it was good news for my Blue Eagles but bad news for my Olympians as the Eagles dumped my Olympians 76 - 53. It was the last game that the Eagles would play since they will open defense of their UAAP title on sunday against the team a lot believe will end their reign - the FEU Tamaraws. With three of their main guns gone - Rabah Al-Husaini, Jai Reyes and Nonoy Baclao, the Blue Eagles are not given much of a chance by a lot since the Tamaraws are raring to win this year's title. But then again the Blue Eagles know that and are happy that the pressure is off their shoulders.
Jasper Melano scores on a reverse
The game started with veteran Olympian Norman Ihalas scoring off two three pointers that gave the Global City based cagers an early 6 - 2 lead. The Olympians would still hold on to the lead 10 - 9 as their offense did much of the talking while the Eagles were just within striking distance. The Eagles then regrouped and unleashed a 8 - 0 blast to end the quarter ahead - The Blue Eagles would never look back again as the Olympians found it hard to match the running game of the Blue Eagles. There were moments that the Olympians would shine but the consistency was not there.
Henri blocks Nico Salva's jumper
It was a welcome reunion for former Pilgrim Christian College stars Norman Ihalas & Bryan Daguplo of the Olympians with JP Erram of the Blue Eagles. The three were the stars of that CDO team coached by Arvin Martinez. They eventually all went separate ways with most of them playing here in Metro Manila. Erram has shone maturity and so did Daguplo and Ihalas who are tasked to lead the Olympians campaign this season. Besides Ihalas, rookie point guard Keno Alcantara showed up for the big game as he ably supported Ihalas while gutsy forward Jasper Melano was adequate in terms of offense and defense.
Bryan Daguplo drives to the hoop
Both these teams will face different opponents in two different leagues. The win showed that the Blue Eagles are ready for their campaign while the Olympians are still on and off. They played good ball against the UP Maroons but were out ran and out hustled by the Blue Eagles. Good thing season is three weeks from now and that the Olympians have a lot of patching up to do. Good luck to my two favorite teams.