Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thoughts on Game 1

I had a very nice seat right behind the Ateneo bench so I had a decent vantage point for the game.
Game 1 of this year's UAAP finals proved how DLSU needs a awesome game from their star JV Casio to win while ADMU can afford off nights from theirs, Chris Tiu.  
The Archers' full court press has been well documented and it actually produced better results in game 1 compared to their 2 losses to the Eagles in the eliminations.   
DLSU needs to have a really good shooting night if they want to win because the interior defense of ADMU will just frustrate their inside game.  So Casio, needs help from Malabes, Mangahas, Barua, etc., from the perimeter.
Al Hussaini is no doubt the league's MVP.  The UAAP has gotten this award wrong before but I hope they get it right this year.  You can see the desire in Rabeh's eyes.  He combines his physical gifts with the intensity and maturity on the court to be the most valuable player indeed for Ateneo.  He is also no doubt the most improved player.
All of Casio's shots were difficult.  Whether he made them or missed them, hats off to Jai Reyes and Yuri Escueta for making JV work hard for every point (and non points).
I thought Ateneo controlled the game from start to finish.  Except for a few minutes in the first half, they led from the opening tip to the final buzzer.  Unlike in previous ADMU/DLSU games, there was no time when I felt the Eagles were in trouble.