The title defenders from the Katipunan Area managed to hold off another strong contender down the stretch, as they have defeated the University of the East Red Warriors by a fifteen point margin, and that after trailing by as many as seventeen early on in the first half.
The Blue Eagles, I suppose, where a little bit overwhelmed by the starting line up and the chosen five by Coach Norman Black with Austria on court did not had any significant positive signs to show, that’s why the Jesuits began trailing very early on with outside snipes from Acuna and the fellow red Warriors. Or could it be that the UE squad was just a bit lucky early on?
After Ateneo very slow start, common to the weak performance they have showed in the first half against the favorites and hosts FEU Tamawars last Sunday, Ateneo slowly got into the game again, bit by bit, piece by piece, basket by basket, as UE continued struggling from beyond the arch missing triple as many shots that making them from the rainbow area in the third quarter, also the quarter when Rabeh started his MVP performance once again the spearhead the Lethal Atenean front line assassination. But he was not the only one in the quest to aid the Atenean to a 2-0 standings, but he was supported by Nico Salva, the Sophomore freshmen who seems to be the outbreak player for Ateneo this year, Buenafe at the other hand did not had much impact in this game unlike in the opening cracker where he nailed ten points.
The Blue Eagles slowly came back into the game after the big margin they’ve been trailing and where atop when the fourth quarter kicked of, thanks to a triple from Monfort and Austria that boosted the courage and confidence of the Ateneans down the stretch, while UE continued struggling and continued insisting to nail the bucket from the outside, which led to a 17-19 points in favor of Rabeh in contrast to the 17 shot by the whole UE team somewhere into the second half.
With this game sealed as an Ateneo de Manila University win, and the denial of the Far Eastern University on opening day, it is indeed looking good for Ateneo de Manila to sweep the contest, or at least the first half just like they’ve done in UAAP 71, but before we start talking about sweeps, there is still another strong contender waiting in line to beat Ateneo this Sunday, the University of Santo Tomas growling tigers, who alike Ateneo are up 2-0 in the UAAP 72 standings.
But the two wins of UST do not look as vital as the two from Ateneo, since they’ve faced NU and AdU, with the rest of the competitive crew yet to go, that’s the reason why Ateneo stands a big chance to get a 3-0 this Sunday. Aside from that, UST does not have any big man to really come and cover the reigning MVP and if they do not find an immediate remedy, beware of yet another MVP performance from UAAP 71 MVP himself on the upcoming Sunday Showdown.