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, May 23, 2009

Terima kasih from me

As I wind up the stories I am writing about the initial campaign of the Smart Gilas National Team (for now only as the college basketball season gets started), I just wanted to offer my most sincerest thanks to the following who made the last three weeks a wondrous time:

The SBP group & team officials: Mr. MVP, Comm Noli, Perry, Butch, Rico, Bernie, Joey as well as Jen & Kaye.

The team coaches and trainers: Rajko (Coach, Barca won the La Liga!, Yes, Coach Rajko roots for FC Barcelona), Jude, Allan, D'jalma, Jim, Albert, and Drew.

The team: Chris, Mark, Dylan, Jayvee, Jason, Al, CJ, Greg (now we almost got the same music in our iPods), RJ, Rey, Mac, and JR. For taking me into confidence and sharing a lot of your thoughts and ideas. Chris, you were right... there's something about hearing the national anthem during competitions like this. I forgot I was supposed to remain impartial.

And wherever you go, officiating sucks. Even the Pinoy refs who were there were terrible. My media colleagues even picked up this line of mine: "That was a shit call, ref!" and "Dude, that was freakin' awesome!" Bwahaha!

FIBA officials: Mr. Erick Thohir of SEABA, Washeem of FIBA Asia, Salim of NewTV Lebanon.

Coach Mario Palma who rekindled my interest in the great John Wooden, Coach Fouad Abou Chakra who was always willing to talk (I hope to go to Lebanon one day), Coach Aleksandar Bucan whose outstanding and sometimes stubborn belief in the healing power of hoops rubbed off on me, and Coach Fictor Roring (good luck defending your crown).

The fine folks at Indofoods, Shangri-La Jakarta, and the Sunlake Hotel even if you lost my laundry then found it after I threatened to nuke the premises (I recovered mine but my colleagues and other guests didn't), Lola our liaison, Ms. Julie Estelle who laughed at my "lost in translation" jokes, and the folks at Umbro who tried their best to get me a Three Lions jersey.

My Pinoy media colleagues: Joey, Julius, June, Jun, and Tito Willie. Dominic Menor... long time no see no chat bud! My editors at BM: Jun Lomi & Aldrin... muchos gracias. Antara, the Jakarta Post, and SLAM Indonesia for the kind words, Valentino for the press cons and the Alessandro del Piero Juventus shirt (To my cousin Aldrin who lives in Turin: the call of the Old Lady rings in my ears. I'm saving for Italy!). See I am wearing my Juventus jersey in the photo above.

To Arynnn, Valentino, and Insane... terima kasih. Saya baik-baik!

The friends I made on the other teams... Chris, Joel, Priest, Josh, Mo, Ali, and Shayee.

Mr. Harry Angping... Mabuhay! See ya next week.

Coach Chot for always telling me to keep on rolling. Nice seeing ya in Jakarta!

I'm going to miss those late night coffee shop talk. I was stoked for "The Summit."

I'm going to miss CJ yell, "Yeah, boy!" and Rey G and Dylan do their impersonations of Mac Baracael.

Well, 'til next time!

And there are three remaining pieces from this experience: Man in A Suitcase (my Bleachers' Brew column for Monday's Business Mirror), Soul Train Express (CJ Giles), and Coast to Coast (featuring Priest Lauderdale, Joel Box, Josh Jones, Brian Beshara, and Chris Charles).

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