Letran took the lead early on but Ateneo made their run courtesy of Rabah Al-Hussaini's semi hooks.The size factor really took its toll on the Knights early as a slew of defenders were thrown at Rabah but he was still quite effective. Ryan Buenafe saw action in his first PCC by coming off the bench--- he was rusty and hesitant on both ends of the floor but quicky picked up his rhtyhm as the game went along. Other Eagles namely Baclao, Reyes and to an extent, Austria played their roles to the hilt--- with Letran's pressure defense the pair of guards had to work over time and Baclao did what he did best--- rebounds and defense. Those long arms bothered a lot of shots.
While it looked like the Eagles collapsed on the end part of the game, it was more of Letran being (even) more aggressive on the defensive end that made it a very, very interesting game. With the game tied at 61 apiece, Daa was called for a (ticky tack) foul--- or just plain stupid because he was reaching in all over the place and got called--- that pushed the lead back to three points (He also reacted quite strongly which merited a technical foul--- i thought the refs reacted quite strongly too-- in this game so-oh-close that extra free throw could mean the game...) A few plays later Reyes made his only three in the ballgame which, if i remember correctly stretched the lead to 8 points. If the Knights showed more poise, or if the refs showed a bit more compassion, I do believe that it would be the Eagles trying to make their run at the end game and not the other way around.
Meanwhile, Ateneo was just too composed in the end game. Trailing by a single point, they went to Buenafe, arguably the best slasher in today’s game, who made that falling-fading bank shot which gave the Eagles that lead.
Letran showed good heart, but clearly Ateneo had the tools to win these close games.
SAN BEDA – LA SALLE
The second game had ingredients for a blowout. San Beda had energy, and La Salle looked lost in the scheme of things most of the time. And anyway, after the first game thriller what were the chances of a cardiac game happening in the same day, same venue?