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.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Today @ SingCity

Chicken rice at Food Republic in Suntec City. The Doughnut Factory where I had a double chocolate and that is unusual because I'm not big on chocolates. Checked out Harris bookstore at Somerset but got bored. Made friends with this family from Arizona that is going around Southeast Asia. I am purged of fastfood junk. Wanted to get the Lost Patrol two-in-one CD but it was out so I had to make do with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's Beat the Devil's Tattoo. My cousin got this album by former American Idol contestant Melinda Doolittle. Took another look at the David Villa kit from Valencia. $159. Money best saved for something else and another day. My son watching football on television between two Chinese teams. Have to lose weight. The Battlestar Galactica shirt I got at Universal Studios makes me feel like I'm wearing a muscle shirt. Be a little more adventurous. Think outside the box, Singapore. Oh, what's that? Another new mall. Went to my favorite Indian restaurant in Bugis. It's now gone. Razed to make way for? Ben & Jerry's or Haagen Dazs? A dollar for an ice cream sandwich (sweet corn). Talking F1. Thinks this Indian columnist for the Straits Times is pretty good. Temptation. Christina Hendricks on Esquire. Look. Save money. Download. Real Madrid's disappointing year. Oh yeah? Tell that to Liverpool! Uniqlo shirt celebrating the 30th anniversary of Mobile Suit Gundam last year. $31. Hmm. Save. Thought she was Maria Sharapova. Maybe she is? Making plans to comeback and watch Broken Social Scene in July. Last time I saw them was in New York. Having fun yet?

From ESPN: Yankees not most-hated baseball team? Screw the haters, man!

With 27 World Series championships, baseball's highest payroll and some of the most boastful fans in sports, the New York Yankees have to be the team other baseball fans love to hate, right? Wrong.

According to a formula created by The Nielsen Company, there are four teams more detested than the Bronx Bombers, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Slider
Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesAccording to a report, Slider and his Cleveland Indians are baseball's Public Enemy No. 1 among fans.

The No. 1 most-disliked team in baseball, according to the formula, is the Cleveland Indians.

The Boston Red Sox, the Yankees' archrival, rank No. 2 on the list.

The formula helps determine whether consumers have positive, negative or neutral reactions to brands in their online messages. Nielsen's "Sentiment Rankings" range from 5 to minus-5. No team finished with a negative number. But six teams finished with a number lower than 2.

Some of the others making the not-so top 10: Chicago White Sox (No. 7), Baltimore Orioles (No. 8), New York Mets (No. 9) and Los Angeles Dodgers (No. 10).

At least one Indians blogger wasn't surprised by the findings.

"I can believe that though," Deep Left Field Indians blogger Ed Carroll told the newspaper. "The team does a lot to alienate its fans."

The Cincinnati Reds (No. 3) and Houston Astros (No. 4) also ranked higher than the Yankees on the hatred scale. The Washington Nationals (No. 6) were the only other team to have a number lower than 2.

The San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics were the most popular teams among fans, according to Nielsen's study.


A couple of books I picked up at Borders (Wheelock Place in Orchard Road)


The boys enjoyed the Kinokuniya at Ngee An City. But even if it is so much bigger and better than Borders (at Wheelock Place), I always make it a point to drop by the latter. Sometimes there are a few things you won't find in the big outlets.

Case in point: Moneyball was purchased to replace my old copy that got messed (yes by Ondoy) and The Bronx Zoo was a frigging bonus! I never knew it was still in print. Even before I only had the controversial excerpt from Reggie Jackson about the late Thurman Munson from an old and batter copy of Sport magazine.

I've only read two books by Michael Lewis -- Moneyball and The Blind Side -- and I'm such a huge fan. His mania for writing stories about obsession and finding connections between seemingly disjointed threads is unbelievable. As much as I'd recommend both books to the casual fan, the topics are on winning baseball games on a budget (Moneyball) and American football's position player of the Left Tackle and why it has become one of the most important and highest paid on a football team (The Blind Side).

Finally got me a new copy of this DVD

This was a must buy for me. Have been buying back some of my collectibles that I lost during last year's Typhoon Ondoy. I tried looking for this around Metro Manila (Astrovision and Odyssey) but the sales people would always say, "Matagal na yun, sir. Wala na."

Huh? But don't they carry titles that go all the way back to the 80's maybe even earlier as well? I once testily asked in return, "Eh, yung Casablanca hindi pa buhay tatay mo eh meron pa kayong DVD tapos yung Miracle na 2004 wala na?"

I guess they don't care about ice hockey back home, yeah? So I had to settle for buying a pirated copy several months back (even that is hard to find). But I don't really like having pirated stuff soil my all-original collection so it was going to get replaced.

Anyways, I did got myself the double-disc version (and its Region 1 as well) which is better coz I previously had the single disc copy.

I also wanted to get the Liverpool 2008-09 Year in Review DVD except that it costs a pricey $53! Was looking for the Super Bowl XLII featuring the New England Patriots vs. the New York Giants but they didn't have it. Lots of WWE and NBA stuff though.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Universal Studios Singapore

Spent almost four hours at Universal Studios today. It's at Sentosa! Yep, beside the old casino. I say old because the Marina Sands casino opened two days ago and it's quite something else (they say but since I don't gamble then I don't go to places like that). The Shrek 4-D Adventure was fun. And no, I've not seen any of the films. But I guess I now will. Another one I truly loved was the "Lights, Camera, Action!" as hosted by Steven Speilberg. In this presentation, they showed a soundstage where they recreated a major hurricane hitting New York City! There were lots of stuff to do unfortunately we didn't have time coz we zipped off to the Zoo and the Night Safari.
Jurassic Park/The Lost World is okay. Except that I wish I tried out the Canopy Flyer. Got acrophobia so that sucks.
Battlestar Galactica fan here! Got all the boxed DVD sets save for the final season. And got meself this shirt! Now to slag these oven toasters. The entrance ticket for adults is $66 each and $48 for kids. Each ticket of admission comes with a $5 coupon redeemable for merchandise and another $10 food stub.
This is the set of the "Lights, Camera, Action!" (from the New York area of the park) where the hurricane hits a boathouse. It was sadly too short!
Art deco. Americana. Broadway. Vintage cars. Yep, like this Thunderbird!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day One in Singapore April 2010

With my son Anthony, the Arsenal and AC Milan fan having our pic taken by my eldest son Matt.
My telekinetic powers are back (shades of Naruto). Prepare for a bath you foul-smelling creatures! I think I've read too much comic books. So then wait til my impression of Moses parting the Red Sea.
Ice cream on a hot afternoon (it would rain after this). Clarke Quay is normally quiet during the day but is bustling with people and activity at night. Hey, isn't the local Saatchi in this area? The weather and going in and out of cool places was making me feel awful again.
The view from our room. I'm staying at my cousin's place at the Waterside. I love the view. On every side of the condo you can see some part of the city. There's the Kallang Stadium where I saw LFC play last year -- it hasn't been torn down as planned. Maybe renovated. In this pic it's the Marina Bay Sands with their awesome casino.

This takes me back when I first became a fan of football: the New York Cosmos

I purchased the DVD of this film at HMV. By the way, HMV moved to a new location at the more swanky 313 Somerset in Orchard Road. This one really filled the gaps of what I know about the team. It's rather unfortunate that Pele declined to be interviewed for this. ESPN came up with a great documentary that at times gets hilarious because the protagonists all the remember events differently. Faulty memory or just flat out lying? You be the judge. But I love the 1970's retro feel of the film. If you enjoyed the Will Ferrell movie Semi-Pro's retro touch then this is right up that alley. Great soundtrack too!

As for bonus features, it's got the highlights of Pele's final game where he donned the colors of the Cosmos in the first half and Santos in the second. He scored a goal for New York. You think that it's only in Europe you hear those massive stadium chants? Watch this and feel your hair stand up. And this is in 1977 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey!

They've also got highlights from New York's final title year in 1980 and their 1981 loss to Fort Lauderdale.

I recall that the city of Boston won in the NBA, MLB, and NFL in a span of a few years. At this time of between 1975-1985, the New York Yankees won two World Series in four appearances, the New York Islanders won four straight Stanley Cups, and the Cosmos won four Soccer Bowl titles in five appearances. And just a few years before 1975, the Knicks won two NBA titles and the Cosmos one more. How's that for domination?

I've said several times before (and this film proves me right) that this team were the first true set of Galacticos -- Pele, Giorgio Chinaglia, Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto, Johan Neeskens, and many more. This team was totally ahead of its time!

Who do you think is going to win -- Mayweather or Mosley?

Castrol & A trip to watch the World Cup in South Africa


An interview with Castrol’s Country Marketing Manager Paul Salapantan.

Rick: How did Castrol come about getting involved in football?

Paul: Castrol has been so involved with motorsports that we just had to take a look back and see what we were missing out. It’s fine really and an obvious choice but we figured out that we were missing all these ordinary blokes of guys and girls. Football is the world’s number one sports and its values are so in tune with Castrol that it just had to happen.

There are so many groups or even sports that we could tap into. We’re not just into this World Cup in South Africa but even the next one in Brazil. It’s a worldwide commitment to the game.

Rick: And that opportunity here in the Philippines was through Soccer Fiesta?

Paul: First of all, we had to determine which groups to support. All have the same passion and zeal for sports but the ideal situation for us was to affiliate ourselves with groups and outfits that can get things done.

When it came to soccer fiesta, it was an easy decision to partner with people like Rely San Agustin and Peter Amores who have a passion for sports. Rely knows what he’s doing and his heart is in the right place. Peter is doing an amazing job with the Futkaleros.

Rick: So what do you think of Soccer Fiesta?

Paul: I think it’s a wonderful way to get our feet on the ground. The turnout could be better but with all the summer camps going on, all these events going on, we are still happy. It’s also a way to let people know that we’re here and we’re supporting football.

Rick: So this is like when McDonald’s first came out in the last World Cup as a supporter of football?

Paul: Yes. Exactly. McDonald’s was known for its involvement in basketball and now, four years later, they’re a huge part of the world game.

Rick: I take it that you’re having the time of your life with this.

Paul: Definitely. It makes me feel young again. My kids are playing the game. Everyone is getting into it. I used to play this (in Colegio de San Agustin) and now – how things have turned around – I’m a part of a company that’s into its development.

Rick: Then this is a righteous opportunity!

Paul: It is! If you want to watch the World Cup Finals – and that’s for the Cup! Then this is your chance. It’s an all-expenses paid trip to South Africa to watch the world’s biggest sporting spectacle outside of the Olympics.

CASTROL SKILLS CHALLENGE

Castrol is giving away an all-expense paid trip to Johannesburg, South Africa to watch the 2010 World Cup FINALS Match as the grand prize. Only one winner will win this. For every purchase of at least 2 LITERS of selected Castrol products from any ACE HARDWARE STORE or BOOTH situated at the event, entitles the bearer to a one-time slot at the Skills Challenge Qualifiers. He can participate at the following qualifying dates:

May 1 @ the BLOCK Atrium SM City North Edsa (We will be taking the top 50

Qualifiers for this day); STARTS AT 3PM.

The objective is to finish the obstacle course at the fastest possible time. The challenges involve basic soccer skills such as dribbling, juggling, shooting, passing and shuttle running.

If the bearer qualifies, he will come back on May 2 (the BLOCK SM City North Edsa) for the Finals. Winner here gets the grand prize.

OPEN TO:

1. Male & Female participants aged 18 years old and above.

2. Must have a valid passport

3. Must have proof of purchase of at least two (2) liters of selected Castrol

products from Ace Hardware that is purchased from April 1, 2010 to May 01, 2010.

(NOTE: PRICE MAY VARY PER VENUE)

Castrol Magnatec (4 liters) – P 1,156.00

Castrol Magnatec (1 liter) – P 299.00

Castrol Edge (4 liters) - P 2,772.00

Castrol Edge (1 liter) – P 700.00

Castrol Edge Sport (4 liters) – P 3,560.00

Castrol CRB (4 liters) – P 640.00

Castrol CRB (1 liter) – P 165.00

Castrol CRB Turbo (4 liters) – P 740.00

Castrol CRB Turbo (1 liter) – P 187.00

Castrol Power 1 (1 liter) – P 250.00

Castrol Power 1 Racing (1 liter) – P 450.00

4. Must fill-up and submit the Official Castrol Skills Challenge Registration Form

online via download at www.soccerfiesta2010.multiply.com or at the venue.

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SOCCER FIESTA 2010

For more details on Soccer Fiesta 2010, log on to www.soccerfiesta2010.multiply.com. Or call Real Sports Authority @ 211 5878.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Smart Gilas' imports for the FIBA Champions Cup?

Milan Vucicevic is a 6'10" center from Serbia. The forward-center has played in Poland, Greece, Ukraine, Oman, and Cyprus.
Jared Reiner, a 6'11' center from Iowa was cut from the Philadelphia 76ers this past season. He will meet up with the nationals in Las Vegas.
Reiner and Vucicevic will join the entire complement of Smart Gilas in the upcoming FIBA Champions Challenge Cup in Doha, Qatar. Hopefully these moves pan out for the nationals who have had lots of problems with their candidates for naturalization. Stay tuned for more info.

Kei Kamara should be given the boot. Not the golden boot. Whatta dunce!

Game 2 of Smart Gilas' North American tour

LA Slam 111 - Rockett 36, Reaves 20, Farmer 15, Milton 12, The Game 8, Stanhister 8, Marc 5, Flemino 4, Marcus 3

Smart Gilas 107 - Tiu 36, Barroca 17, Slaughter 14, Aguilar 12, Baracael 10, Ababou 9, Ramos 3, Cawaling 2, Al-Hussaini 2, Ballesteros 0, Jazul 0

Up against a taller and more athletic team, Smart Gilas struggled throughout much of the game. At one point they were even down by 18 points. But Greg Slaughter, Mac Baracael, and Mark Barroca held the fort for the nationals in the first half.

Come the second half, Chris Tiu put on a spectacular shooting exhibition nailing one three after another (he hit five in that stretch) to bring Smart Gilas back. With the home side now guarding Tiu more closely, Barroca passed off to an open Aldrech Ramos who hit a trey to tie the game at 107-all. But in a move reminiscent of Chris Webber's ill-fated timeout against Duke in the US NCAA Finals, Barroca called for time when Gilas had none. A technical foul gave momentum to the home team that held on for the win.

Smart Gilas even had a two-point lead prior to that but were unable to sustain their momentum as LA Slam wound up with a four-point win.

Marcio Lassiter sat out the game with a calf injury. I failed to mention that Jayvee Casio did not join the team because he is still recuperating from his MCL injury.

The New York Yankees visit Obama


During the New York Yankees' off-day before their series with the Baltimore Orioles, the team paid a courtesy call on US President Barack Obama. In a 30-minute ceremony where the President, a Chisox fan, gave a speech that extolled the virtues of being a Yankee, the White House's East Room was packed with members of the Cabinet and Congress. And even if only for a few minutes, everyone was a baseball fan.

Said the Prez: "It has been nine years since your last title (in 2000) which must have felt like an eternity. Some teams would love a spell like that... like the (Chicago) Cubs."

Incidentally, the Yankees' Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte, have been to the White House five times and have met three American Presidents -- Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama. That Core Four used to be the Fab Five but Bernie Williams retired a few years ago (he did come up to the team in the early 90's ahead of his other teammates).

And I thought it was real swell for the Yanks to visit the Walter Reed Hospital that treats injured and wounded servicemen. The soldiers were said to appreciate the visit even the few Red Sox fans among them who made sure they wore their caps.


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.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Game 1 of Smart Gilas' North American tour

Smart Gilas beat San Diego 94-93 on a killer three-pointer by Andy Mark Barroca with 4.3 seconds left in the exhibition game. Barroca is celebrating his birthday today. The nationals led by as much as 12 points but a series of turnovers helped the home team come back. Greg Slaughter had 13 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots.

Smart Gilas 94 - Barroca 21, Baracael 17, Lassiter 14, Slaughter 13, Aguilar 10, Ballesteros 5, Jazul 5, Cawaling 5, Ababou 4, Tiu 0

San Diego 93 - Vaughn 22, Koferty 19, Hall 18, Clark G. 15, Clark J. 9, Hunds 6, Bruner 3, Ryan 2, Parselany 0, Watson 0

Smart Gilas' American tour was made possible by Smart Sports, Nike, and GMA-7.

Notes: The whole team of Gilas left for the US. That includes Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Rey Guevarra who are back from the injury list. Rey's first official game back was against Sta. Lucia. A scrimmage they won. He's feeling some stiffness but he should get back in the swing of things. I dropped by their last weights session before they left and I caught up with Dylan, Mark, Jim, RJ, and Rey. Some like RJ have nagging injuries. But these guys are troopers.

Just because Chris didn't score don't think that he doesn't bring anything on the table for this team. Remember, he is this team's toughest player. And he contributes to the hustle board.

Japeth is an enigma here. They like his potential and his hops but he needs to be mentally tougher. I guess that's because in the US, although he was penciled in as a center, he fell in love with the outside shot. Rajko Toroman would love him to be more inside the lane to free up the outside shooters.

There's a concern how Rabeh will hold up since he's pretty much missed all the international competitions that is crucial for growth and experience. But he's gotten bigger and stronger. In the meantime, in terms of skills and strength (thanks to Jimbo), Greg, Jason, and Mark are plenty awesome. Whatta improvement!

From the current pool, only 12 will make the trip to Doha for the FIBA Champions Cup. The rest will stay.

Are things peachy keen with Gilas? Er, not yet. But let make take this opportunity to welcome back Butch Antonio as Team Manager. He will rejoin the team in Doha.

And Bernie Atienza... you'll love my piece on Letran in the next issue of Rebound. And there's one on Smart Gilas -- as a team of college stars. I wish I still had some of my stuff on the team's early days. I lost it during Ondoy. That's got video, pics, and interviews when they first began.

Bleachers' Brew #206 The Trainer


This appears in the Monday April 26, 2010 edition of the Business Mirror.

The Trainer

by rick olivares

With 5:38 left in the 3rd Quarter of the match between Al Riyadi Lebanon and Smart Gilas Pilipinas in the 2009 FIBA Champions Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia, then-import CJ Giles went down with a knee injury. The American was brought near one of the exit areas of the Britama Arena where Gilas trainer Jim Saret probed the player’s knee. As a crowd of coaches and trainers from several countries gathered around, Saret began a patch-up job on Giles using tape and makeshift splints to keep his knee in place. Showing character and determination, Giles reentered the fray and helped the nationals to a pulsating 91-86 win.

“What did you do?” asked the other coaches and Saret gamely obliged.

It wasn’t just the opposing teams’ trainers who were amazed by Saret and his pre-match training with the team that others had been secretly scouting. Gilas’ Serbian coach Rajko Toroman was also amazed by Saret when he first came on board the national program as a substitute for a day. “Jim knows what to do to make the players fit and better,” said the coach who gave two thumbs up on the former tennis star. Saret never left the team since that day and has become an integral part of the Gilas program while becoming a close confidant of the coach.

When I first met Saret, it was right before Smart Gilas was leaving for the FIBA Champions Cup in Jakarta. He made me feel welcome right away with the team as I began to earnestly cover them. As the final line-up of 12 was being decided among its pool of players, I asked Jim who was going to man the 4-spot, and he said that it was former FEU Tamaraw Mac Baracael.

I had seen Baracael play for Far Eastern University and for the Burger King Whoppers in the Philippine Basketball League and I thought that he was just an ordinary but serviceable player. I always thought that what made the Tamaraws dangerous was swingman Benedict Fernandez and guard Mark Barroca. Even after the few Gilas matches I saw with Baracael, I thought that he had somewhat improved yet the jury was still out for me. Said Saret, “It is not just about the size of the player but the quality of the player.”

Saret had been prophetic. In Jakarta, Baracael was something else. I thought that he had been transformed into a really powerful and terrific player and began to rave about his development as a basketball player. Had he played like that for FEU, they would have won a title before he exited the college ranks. Baracael has since grown as a player easily standing out during Gilas’ stints in the PBA and their tournaments in Doha and Dubai. In the latter tournaments, many a Middle Eastern squad became interested in signing him up.

But wasn’t just Baracael who made huge strides with his game but also noticeable in their improvement were other players like Jayvee Casio, Dylan Ababou, Jason Ballesteros, Aldrech Ramos, Greg Slaughter, and Barroca.

Their improvement isn’t solely the system of head coach Rajko Toroman but also the training they’ve gotten from Saret, who was a part of the golden age of Philippine tennis alongside Felix Barrientos, Rolando So and others.

After a stellar stint with the University of the Philippines Tennis Team in the UAAP, Saret was recruited by Brigham Young University to play for its tennis team. However, there was a US NCAA rule that forbade players who had played for colleges abroad from suiting up in an American school. That left Saret out in the cold. While disappointed about being unable to play, he instead turned his attention to become a trainer as well as a strength and conditioning coach. It was something that was still new at that time yet was fast gaining acceptance and recognition thanks to the endorsement of many a pro athlete that included Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan. After almost a decade of work in Utah, he decided to go back to the Philippines. “I always knew I was coming back.” recounted Saret who is a certified Athletic Performance Enhancement Specialist. “I went to the US was just to learn as much as I could so I could share it back here at home.”

Since he returned, Saret’s worked with a number of Philippine Basketball Association, college, and national teams such as track and field and swimming. Gilas and his being a sports training and fitness consultant with the Philippine Olympic Committee are his most high profile jobs at the moment. And now he’s making that program he uses for Gilas available to everyone.

It has long been Saret’s dream to open his own training camp and recently, he opened his first Strength, Agility & Quickness camp in Ateneo with over 40 which varsity athletes (including some parents who wanted to participate). He was assisted in the eight-session mini-camp by several Beijing track Olympian Henry Dagmil, SEA and Asian Games medalists Ernie Candelario and Julius Nieras, Elma Muros-Posadas, and his sibling, tennis star Jennifer Saret.

The camp was a rousing success with the athletes asking on how they can continue with or integrate the program into their varsity training.

“The dream of opening a camp has been a long time coming,” said Saret. “Hopefully, it could be the start of something where I can help our athletes attain their athletic goals and dreams.”

* * *

Train like the pros. Jim Saret’s second Speed, Agility & Quickness Camp (sponsored by Milo and APEX – Athletic Performance Enhancement Training) improves agility, hand-eye coordination, explosiveness, reaction time, conditioning and power development. The next camps will be held from May 12-20 at the Ateneo football field 8am-930am and the Philsports Arena, in Pasig City from May 12-20 430-6pm. Interested parties my text Cookie at 0906-387-5058 or Jen at 0920-952-1979.

* * *

Soccer Fiesta. You can win an all-expenses paid trip to watch the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa by joining the Castrol Skills Challenge at the Soccer Fiesta at The Block at the SM City North EDSA. It entails simple juggling, dribbling, passing, a shuttle run, and kicking the ball into the goal in the fastest possible time. A participant must be at least 18 years old with a valid passport and he/she must purchase at least 2 liters of selected Castrol products at any Ace Hardware store. The Qualifying Round will be held on Saturday May 1 at while the finals will be held on the following day, Sunday, May 2. For a demonstration on the skills challenge, look up “Soccer Fiesta 2010 Castrol Skills Challenge” on YouTube. This an opportunity of a lifetime, folks!

* * *

Is it in you? It was only recently that I learned of the story of Gatorade and how it began as a simple science project that helped the University of Florida win a football game. The fallacy about Gatorade is that drinking it during games will help replace those lost electrolytes. The truth is, one has to hydrate or drink it before, during, and after games. The sports energy drink giant has embarked on its sweat test program where they will monitor a few UAAP and NCAA teams. They’ve prepared a hydration program for the squads that should provide very interesting information about the teams and their progress especially after the college basketball season is done.

On the Ateneo Blue Eaglets

The Ateneo Blue Eaglets salvaged some Katipunan pride when they beat the DLSZ Junior Archers 73-64 in the Fil Oil Juniors Tournament. Quite honestly, that win showed a bad side to the Ateneo Juniors squad. They have a propensity to rack up huge leads -- thanks to their full court pressing defense -- then eventually falter down the stretch. Even when Joshua Webb was with DLSZ, Ateneo had the same problem.

The AHS team still has Kiefer Ravena who scored 31 points and Von Pessumal who added 18. Keifer nearly slammed home the ball on the break but was fouled (the ball rimmed out). Joining them in the starting unit are U18 teamer Paolo Romero, Lambert Tenorio (LA's younger bro), and Jay Javelosa. If you've watching games by our grade school teams you'll know that Javelosa is a very good basketball player. Although he did seem a little lost or awkward in his first Juniors game. He used to run the point in grade school but because of his height (is he 6'3" or 6'4"?), he had to play center.

Also making it to the team is the third of the Gamboa brothers (the kids of former Blue Eagle Jojo Gamboa), Mark. I'm sure you remember Mike who used to play for UP and Kevin who is in Ateneo Team B. Also in the Juniors line up is Jedd Austria, Bacon's younger brother. And there's Mio Puno, the son of former Blue Eaglet captain Nolet Puno. And Chuckie Dumrique is still around as well.

The DLSZ Junior Archers have some pretty tall but still awkward players. Glenn Capacio's other son Mykee is on this team. Keepers on their team are Jonathan Caluglug who is in the mold of a Joshua Webb and Alex Torres, an inside player.

Since we're on the topic of Juniors players, check out the Letran Squires Mark Cruz. He is an awesome player just like his older brother Marvin who once played for the UP Maroons.