Monday, July 13, 2009

UAAP Season 72 Eliminations: ADMU Game 1 Results

My team won!
Eagles survive pesky Tamaraws
Al-Hussaini stars in battle of title faves
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines - Ateneo's crack guards propped up the Blue Eagles early before the veterans finished off the pesky Far Eastern U Tamaraws with a 63-59 victory in the 72nd UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Eagles turned to Rabeh Al-Hussaini in the final stretch and the reigning MVP responded with a pair of key baskets that pushed the defending champions ahead for good at 61-54 from a 54-54 deadlock.

“It showed why everybody is picking FEU as the team to beat,” said Ateneo coach Norman Black. “We played well in the first half, but they came out with better intensity in the second half. Luckily we just kept our composure and kept our defense.”

Al-Hussaini finished with 18 points and eight rebounds and last year’s top rookie Ryan Buenafe contributed 10.

Ateneo's best five on paper is Al-Hussaini, Buenafe, Nonoy Baclao, Eric Salamat, and Jai Reyes so I was very surprised to see Kirk Long starting the game instead of Buenafe. The gambit worked out, though, because Buenafe and fellow subs Nico Salva and Emman Monfort provided the scoring punch off the bench after the Blue Eagles got off to a slow start.

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