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.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Chat with the Ateneo Blue Eagles' Jason Escueta

Rick: Hi, Jason. You came over from the USA, right? What part? You grew up there?

Jason: I’m from Los Angeles, California, but I pretty much grew up here in Manila. I lived in Caloocan 'til I was 16 years old before moving to the U.S.

Rick: How did you come over to Ateneo? Who brought you? Is anyone from your family from Ateneo?

Jason: I was a walk-in tryout. I wanted to see if I can be a part of the team. I was part of a traveling team from L.A. that goes here every year. I actually tried out twice. I wasn't invited to stay the first time so when we went back again I wanted to see if I can make it the 2nd time around. Thank God I did.

Rick: Is basketball you first sport? Did you join any leagues in the US? Who are your basketball idols?

Jason: Yes, basketball was my first sport. I played volleyball in my high school too. I did play in some Filipino and Asian leagues in the US.

My basketball idols are Grant Hill and Hakeem Olajuwon. I really liked how they play because they play very simple but efficient.

Rick: Was it tough playing for two years on Team B? How did you feel when you were picked out for Team A?

Jason: It wasn’t as tough as I expected. The hardest thing about playing for Team B is the morning practice. Other than that playing for Team B was great. I had great teammates and great coaches. It made my first two years in the Ateneo so much better.

Rick: Describe the feeling of playing for the Ateneo Blue Eagles?

Jason: Playing for the Blue Eagles is one of the greatest feelings I've felt in my whole life. When I was younger I never imagined myself playing college basketball. So now the feeling of wearing Ateneo across my chest is really a dream come true and one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.

Rick: JP said that the two of you talked na since sabay kayo pumasok, you'll both do what it takes to help Ateneo win a title. Is that so?

Jason: JP and I have been dedicated from day one to win a championship ever since we were on team B. It is still our goal even after our transfer to team A. JP is a very hardworking and talented player, and I believe that with his continued improvement he will be a very important factor to successfully defend the crown this year. We know we both will step up and we'll do what is needed in order to win.

Rick: Lastly, is it difficult fitting into a team like Ateneo? Is there pressure on you to deliver since you are stepping into the shoes of Rabeh and Nonoy?

Jason: It isn't that difficult to fit in with the team. Everyone has been great to the new players. The veterans of the team have been supportive to everyone, not just the rookies, in order for us to be on the same page when the UAAP season starts.

Rabeh and Nonoy will probably go down as two of the best basketball players in the Ateneo, so of course there is pressure, but that pressure doesn't fall on me alone. We have a very capable team and I believe that when the time comes we will fill out the void that is left by Rabs and Noy perfectly.

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