Ateneo routs Adamson, 78-59Here are my game notes:
Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SHOWING no signs of slowing down, Rabeh Al-Hussaini powered Ateneo past Adamson in a blowout 78-59 victory that assured the Blue Eagles of a semifinal berth in the 71st UAAP men's basketball competition Sunday at the PhilSports Arena.
Al-Hussaini took control early by effectively working the ball inside to score 14 of Ateneo's 22 points in the opening quarter of the game the Eagles led all the way.
Yet coach Norman Black stressed that there's no letting up for his wards even after the Eagles--who remained solo on top with a 9-1 record--secured their 10th straight Final Four appearance.
"I'm happy being in the Final Four but our goal is to make it in the top two," said Black. "So it doesn't really stop here, we have to keep on winning, playing hard and keep respecting our opponents because we have not time to relax."
Pre-gameWith its fourth straight win Ateneo booked a slot in the Final Four. The Blue Eagles also have an inside track on the twice-to-beat advantage given to the top two teams after the eliminations.
This is the second game between Ateneo and Adamson in Season 71. As the tournament leaders, the Blue Eagles are heavily favored to repeat last month's 27-point win over the Falcons.
The player to watch is Rabeh Al-Hussaini, who's been averaging over 15 points and 9 rebounds for Ateneo.
Al-Hussaini scores the Blue Eagles' first 10 points and outpoints the entire Adamson team, 14-12. The Ateneo reserves see some early action in this one.
Black continues to give his bench players extended minutes. A turnover-filled quarter for both teams.
Adamson cuts the lead to as low as six points, but seven Ateneo players score to give the team a ten-point lead at the half.
What can I say about the Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion? They may not be dynamic, but with the way the Blue Eagles are playing, they will always be the first cheer squad to perform at halftime.
Stats show Ateneo ahead on field goals made, field goal percentage, fastbreak points, and points from the perimeter. Adamson, meanwhile, leads in offensive rebounds.
Adamson cuts the lead to six. The Blue Eagles respond with a 10-0 run and lead by as much as eighteen points. Al-Hussaini again scores in double digits.
Highlight plays of the quarter: a reverse lay-up from Ateneo rookie Nico Salva and a no-look assist from Chris Tiu to Al-Hussaini.
Eric Salamat joins the scoring fray with ten points, capped by two three-pointers. Ateneo stretches the lead to twenty. The bench players are sent in, and the Blue Eagles win by nineteen.
Ateneo has now beaten Adamson 23 straight times, with the Falcons last winning during the 1997 season. They will have to try again next year.
Al-Hussaini is chosen as Best Player with 29 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block. Salamat takes home Player of the Game with 17 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 6 steals, the most by one player since 2005.