Blue Eagles big man Rabeh Al-Hussaini scored 31 points for his team as they defeated the rival De La Salle Green Archers 69-61, to gain the upper hand in the UAAP finals. Ateneo is now ahead with a win and another victory would bring the UAAP crown back in Katipunan. Al-Hussaini, a prime candidate in the MVP race, also had 9 rebounds in the game.
The Green Archers was just out of the zone and finished the game with a miserable 28.6 FG percentage. JV Casio finished with 20 points while Rico Maierhoffer had 17 points, but unfortunately, the two of them were the only Archers who scored in double figures. Bader Malabes and Peejay Barua only added 6 points apiece while James Mangahas chipped in only 5 markers.
Chris Tiu spent most of the game sitting because of foul trouble, but Jai Reyes and Ryan Buenafe picked up the slack as they tallied 12 points each. Tiu only had 2 points in the game.
Winning a game against a fired up Blue Eagle squad is not going to be easy for the Animo squad, but I sure hope La Salle can pull off a few more tricks to turn the side in their favor. The odds are stacked against us, but we will not go down without a fight. Game 2 is on Thursday and I expect to see a different Green Archers, a team that is focused, determined and hungry to win.
–ANIMO! GO LA SALLE!