Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Aces up!

It seemed that Talk N Text had still not found an answer for LA Tenorio as he finished the first quarter with 4 points, 4 assists, and 1 steal in the first quarter alone. Tenorio's coming of age as a PBA player had seen Alaska race to an early 11-point lead.

But TNT, with the emergence of Mark Cardona as a scoring force, ratcheted up the full court pressure to overhaul the deficit and take the lead at the half. And with some six minutes left in the game, TNT still led 89-84 before Alaksa woke up behind Willie Miller who was so far having a sub par series. The Aces finished with a mighty 14-0 wind up and held TNT scoreless the rest of the way to spot their rivals a 2-0 series lead.

And it's been hard to stop Alaska because different players step up at different intervals. In Game One, it was the tandem of Tenorio and Tony De La Cruz who got them going. In Game Two, at first it was Tenorio and Joe Devance before Sonny Thoss (who got his nose bloodied by Ranidel De Ocampo and Mark Cardona on successive drives) and Miller finished off the game for Tim Cone's team.

I was quite surprised that when TNT needed points they shot consecutive treys that bombed out.

In Game One, putting De La Cruz on Cardona worked as he picked Captain Hook's pocket clean on three straight possessions. In Game Two, Alaska tried it again but Cardona, who should win Best Player of the Conference honors, shot himself out of the gym with poor decisions. They should have let Ren Ren Ritualo take more shots. Maybe even have Jared Dillinger attack more. And it certainly didn't help that Ranidel De Ocampo, who missed Game One because of a suspension, played sparingly because of foul trouble.

So how can TNT get back into the series? Well it may sound simple, but it isn't -- stop Tenorio and Miller and let the others beat them. Cardona plays great defense but will Coach Chot Reyes gamble on letting him try to stop Tenorio?

My friend Theo Jurado was telling me that the Araneta Coliseum wasn't packed. But that's okay. It still is a great series.

Alaska 100 - Devance 24, Tenorio 17, Cariaso 15, Thoss 14, Dela Cruz 9, Hugnatan 8, Miller 8, Ferriols 3, Fonacier 2

Talk N Text 91 - De Ocampo R. 20, Ritualo 18, Cardona 16, Alapag 16, Carey 14, Castro 5, Peek 2, Dillinger 0, De Ocampo Y. 0

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