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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Jay Washington is the Philippine Cup's Best Player

San Miguel Beer’s Jay Washington averaged 15.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.4 blocked shots to earn the nod of voters for the Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference. It was his second consecutive award as he also coped the citation in last year’s Fiesta Conference. Washington joins Eric Menk, Danny Ildefonso, and Vergel Meneses as consecutive Best Players awardees.

UAAP Season 73 2nd Round Football Sked

Ateneo draws with UE in UAAP Football

Ateneo draws with UE in UAAP Football
by rick olivares
pic by brosi g

January 30, 2011
Erenchun Field, Ateneo de Manila
The match with the University of the East Red Warriors ended in a scoreless draw but what the result does not show was the titanic effort showed by the Ateneo Men’s Football Team.

Football is a peculiar game. One can dominate the game such as the league-leading University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons who led La Salle 1-nil and thoroughly outplayed the Taft-based squad until a goal in the final 30 seconds changed the course of the tournament. The draw prevented a sweep and stopped UP’s four-game win streak. More importantly, the loss of three full points gave DLSU and UST a chance to catch up.

In Ateneo’s case, they outplayed UE despite the Recto-based squad being back at full strength after their striker Gringo Bravo missed their last match on account of two yellow cards.

In perhaps their best overall performance of the tournament thus far, the Blue Booters got their attack going and had numerous scoring chances while denying Bravo and strike partner Fitch Florence Arboleda clear shots at the goal.

Ateneans Gab Siojo, Anton Amistoso, and Jacobo Lorenzo had several chances to put the blue and white up by what tournament officials said could have been “five goals” but poor finishing prevent the home team to rack up its first win of the season.

“We were aggressive all game long,” noted a proud Ateneo coach Arnulfo Merida. “We had them on the defensive. Sayang lang hindi tayo naka-goal. Hopefully, we can play like this in the second round.”

At the end of the first round of the UAAP Season 73 Men’s Football Tournament, the Ateneo Blue Booters could only get two points off two draws in five matches. At present, they are tied with FEU with a 0-2-3 (win-draw-loss) record.

Ateneo plays UP in the opening match of the second round this Wednesday, February 2 at 1pm at Erenchun Field. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

DLSU draws with UP; UST gets untracked

This appears in the Monday January 31, 2011 edition of Business Mirror.

picture: DLSU's Nikko Villa and UP's Nathan Octavio battle for control of the ball.

DLSU draws with UP; UST gets untracked
by rick olivares with pics by brosi

The De La Salle Green Archers claimed a spectacular injury time goal to forge a 1-1 draw with league-leading University of the Philippines at the Season 73 Men’s Football Tournament at the Ateneo football field in Loyola Heights, Quezon City yesterday.

With 30 seconds left of the three-minute extra time, Manuel Mateo Yuhico controlled the rebound off a shot by teammate Nikko Villa that hit the crossbar. As UP defenders frantically scampered to block his shot, Yuhico who had come on as a late substitute for striker Al Bustamante, volleyed past Maroons keeper Mark Custodio for the equalizer.

It was a sorry goal and point conceded by UP who had been unbeaten after four matches.

However, it was the Green Archers who controlled the early stages of the game until an errant La Salle clearance went inside their box with the ball hitting defender Juan Antonio Patag.

UP rookie Jinggoy Valmayor, stepped up for the penalty kick and he converted in the 20th minute for a 1-nil lead and his fourth score of the tournament.  It was all UP from that point on as they routinely picked apart La Salle’s careful passing game.

“I was ready to go back down on defense,” related Yuhico, a second year player on the Green Archers. “But coach (Hans Smit) always tells us to be ready at times like this for a rebound. I was lucky to get it and score.”

A relieved Smit glowed after the match. “That’s what we’ve been teaching these kids – to keep that never say die spirit. We were able to achieve our goal for the game which was to prevent UP from sweeping the tournament. Hopefully, we can continue what we’ve been doing in the second round.”

Sleeping giant, University of Santo Tomas, finding their campaign floundering with only five points to show after four matches, followed their 4-0 win against Ateneo with a 4-1 drubbing of FEU. Striker Ojay Clariño received a perfect cross from midfielder Shinmar Felongco inside the box that he blasted past Tamaraws keeper Leoben Wayco in the 11th minute. Three minutes later, Clariño scored on a penalty called on Wayco for knocking down UST midfielder John Ronald Caballero.

UST celebrated the return of sophomore striker Christian De Juan who was out for two matches after a death in the family. De Juan, who came on as a substitute in the first half, scored off another brilliant cross from Felongco in the 41st minute for a 3-0 lead heading into the half. De Juan's fellow native from Barotac Nuevo, Fidel Kue, finished off the hard-fighting Tamaraws with a goal in the 88th minute.

The defending champions battled back despite being reduced to 10 men after midfielder Dexter Chio was sent off for kicking UST defender Joel Bones. Tamaraws rookie striker Jesus Melliza scored in the 51st minute for his third goal of the season.

In the other match of the day’s triple-header, the Ateneo Blue Booters and University of the East Red Warriors played to a scoreless draw.

Levitate me! UST's Ojay Clariño heads the ball towards the FEU goal. Tamaraws keeper Leoben Wayco is ready. In this bit of action, the FEU keeper is up to the task but Clariño tagged him for two goals. On another note, Ojay's younger brother Gino plays for the Ateneo High School football team.

Football dreams with the Younghusbands Part 2

Football dreams with the Younghusbands Part 2
by rick olivares
This story and the earlier feature on King Camacho are collected in my Business Mirror column of Monday January 31, 2011.

A General’s stand
The next stop of the TYFA was in Tarlac where the brothers held a two-day clinic (January 20 & 21) at the football stadium in the Tarlac Recreational Park. Some 150 PE teachers from all over the province were in attendance to learn the beautiful game. One man in his 60s stood out from the very first day.

Leofel de Leon, in his military buzz cut taught PE at a local public school. During the two-day session, the animated de Leon repeatedly asked the relevant and interesting questions that earned him he sobriquet of “the General” that was bestowed on him by coach Jojo Durian. In a written test conducted by the YFA, “the General” – no surprise here – came out on top.

In the final activity of the second day, the Younghusband brothers conducted a penalty shootout for all the participants. At first, the participants thought that everyone who scored would receive a prize. Phil upped the ante and demanded that there be only one winner. And so the shootout went until it came down to the General who scored every time out and the Azkals’ feared striker, who was caught up in the competitive spirit of the contest, joined in.

To the delight of the crown, both contestants saved each other’s shots while answering goals with one of their own. At the end of the contest, Phil and James declared the General the winner.

As the TYFA coaches and staff prepared for the distribution of Attendance Certificates a few teachers in attendance burst out in glee when they read the white board in the conference hall that listed the members of the Tarlac Province Football Club.  It turned out that de Leon was the club president and in fact a retired military officer. The moniker of “the General” was remarkably apt!

The TYFA arrived in Tarlac with some 150 public school teachers saying they were fans. After two days, it was the brothers who proclaimed themselves as fans of these new friends they had made through the game of football.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

SMB makes it a series

Arwind Santos harassed Jared Dillinger (into 2-5 shooting) and the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters into a horrible shooting night to cut their foe's series lead 2-1.

SMB makes it a series
by rick olivares with pic by tunying p.

January 28, 2011
Araneta Coliseum

Looks like the rah rah farewell speech by Olsen Racela worked.

It was an emotional goodbye by the longtime San Miguel Beer team captain and point guard who is hanging up his sneakers after the Philippine Cup Finals after 18 years in the PBA.

Racela admitted to keeping his emotions in check but showed enough to fire up his battered squad who were down 2-0 to Talk ‘N Text before tip off. “I hope to win one more title before I hang it up,” said Racela who will be coaching the Philippine Under-16 National Team after the conference. Racela, the longest tenured Beerman is also looking to help his squad win its first All-Filipino title since 2001.

After 48 minutes of play, the Beermen razed the lead 2-1 with a ruthless and dominating 103-82 win where they never allowed the Tropang Texters to get in the game except for that brief second quarter run that was anchored by Jason Castro and Larry Fonacier.

But San Miguel finished the quarter – every quarter in fact – with a mighty kick 25-17, 47-36, 74-56, and the final result of 103-82.

Arwind Santos broke out of his slump by scoring 20 to pace five Beermen in double figures. He as well as other teammates later admitted to being fired up by Racela’s speech.

The Tropang Texters played without Ryan Reyes who was in the United States to attend the funeral of his younger brother Allan who was killed in a vehicular accident a few days ago. Reyes, a starting guard for the TNT team has played excellent defense to go with his usual offensive brilliance.

Right from tip off with backup guard Paul Artadi showing the way, the Beermen attacking the basket on every opportunity. A 10-0 run including a couple of treys by Santos put San Miguel in front 21-13.

Castro’s and Fonacier’s second quarter explosion saw them give the Tropang Texters a brief 33-30 lead but the Beermen answered with an 11-0 bomb to seize control of the match for good.

“We saw the real San Miguel team today. We got our butts kicked. That’s what happens when you're not ready,” said a disappointed TNT head coach Chot Reyes.

Talk ‘N Text converted 27 of 72 field goal attempts for a poor 37.5% shooting clip and were thoroughly dominated on the rebounding department 57-41 and in assists 25-16.

SMB 103 - Santos 20, Salvacion 13, Cabagnot 12, Ildefonso 12, Washington 10, Yeo 9, Hontiveros 9, Artadi 8, Racela 4, Miranda 2, Seigle 2, Pena 2, Pennisi 0

TNT 82 - Castro 13, Alapag 13, Fonacier 11, De Ocampo 9, Dillinger 8, Aban 8, Carey 8, Oreta 4, Alvarez 3, Peek 3, Williams 2, Yee 0, Lao 0

Friday, January 28, 2011

Jerry Codiñera: The Return of the King

The Return of the King

The University of the East hopes that an old hand who led the Big Red Machine its last bout of glory more than two decades ago will once again return them to the Promised Land.

The UE community came out en masse to welcome new Men’s Basketball Team Head Coach Jerry Codiñera last Friday January 14 in festivities befit a king.

Codiñera was a three sport star for UE during his high school and college years. He followed his father, baseball great Filomeno “Boy” Codiñera in UE’s junior and senior baseball teams while also competing in the men’s track and field team. But Codiñera made a name for himself in basketball where he led the UE Pages to back-to-back UAAP Juniors crowns in 1981 and 1982 then later with Allan Caidic to give the seniors Warriors two UAAP basketball crowns in 1984 & 85.

Codiñera, who earned the moniker “The Defense Minister” in the PBA because of his unparalleled defensive prowess, was heralded as one of the PBA 25 Greatest Players, alongside fellow Caidic and Robert Jaworski during the league’s 25th Anniversary.

The UE honored Codiñera as one of the Diamond Jubilee Alumni Achievers in the field of sports during UE’s 2006 Diamond Jubilee Awards.

Codiñera, who served as an assistant for former UP head coach Aboy Castro with the Maroons from 2008-10, assumes the UE Red Warriors coaching chores effective this January, replacing Lawrence Chongson whose contract expired December 2010.

Philippine Homeless World Cup jerseys for sale

Hey, football fans. We're helping out the Homeless World Cup Team. They are selling these jerseys -- that the team wore to Rio last year -- for PhP1,000. For orders send to Coach Rudy! You can also visit their website at Proceeds of their sale go to the HWC team.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

UP racks up fourth straight win; DLSU stays within striking distance

Federico Rabaya scores on FEU.

UP racks up fourth straight win; DLSU stays within striking distance
by rick olivares

The University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons picked up a 1-0 victory over the University of the East to stay unbeaten in the UAAP Season 73 Men’s Football Tournament at the Ateneo de Manila football fields yesterday January 27, 2011.

Midfielder Stephen Permanes picked up a lob pass from wingman Nathan Octavio inside the box to volley a wicked shot past UE keeper Robert Martos in the 59th minute.

UP’s opportunistic offense put UE on the defensive right from the opening whistle as they played a cautious 4-3-3 formation as they were without suspended striker Gringo Bravo. Wary of UP’s attack, Red Warriors head coach Erwin Briones moved midfielder Fitch Johnson Arboleda to the back four. Without his brother and Bravo behind him, Fitch Florence Arboleda had to oft carry the attack alone. In the 79th minute, Arboleda had an opportunity to draw UE level following an Octavio foul inside the box that led to a penalty kick. But the UE striker, already suffering from cramps, misplayed his shot that had no chance of finding the back of the net.

Frank Muescan, who skippered Global FC to the United Football League Cup two weeks ago and is co-head coach for the Maroons, steered UP in the absence of the suspended Anto Gonzales (who was out sent off in the win against UST for excessive complaining), said, “Our key to winning to making sure that we had control over the midfield. It made it easier for us to attack. But we also got lucky that Arboleda missed the penalty. We’ll take the win of course.”

In the main match of the day, second-running De La Salle University stayed within striking distance of UP with a 2-0 win over defending champion FEU. Striker Federico Rabaya scored a brace for the Green Archers with the first coming in the 7th minute when he snared a long ball over three Tamaraw defenders that he slotted past FEU keeper Leoben Wayco. In the 50th minute, Rabaya headed the ball in following a cross to further bury the Morayta-based eleven.

In the other match, UST finally barged into the win column after two draws and a loss with a vengeful 4-0 win over hapless Ateneo.

La Salle and UP, pre-tournament favorites to contend for the UAAP football crown, collide this coming Sunday, January 30 at 10am at the Ateneo football field.

With Match Commissioner (and former Ateneo keeper) Jerry Ngo and FEU head coach Adolfo Alicante. Below with UAAP football officials and referees. Both pics taken during today's matches.

Football dreams with the Younghusbands

Football dreams with the Younghusbands
One kid’s campaign to bring the beautiful game to their school.
by rick olivares

King Camacho is a 14-year old student at the Multiple Intelligence International School in Loyola Heights, Quezon City. He likes football. Correct that – he eatbreatheslivesthinksloves football. In fact, he campaigned all over MI to bring the beautiful game to his schoolmates and friends who had begun to spend more time indoors if not in front of computers instead of outdoors where they were missing out on that great molder of person’s character that is sports. “School cannot all be studies. You need to develop more than your intelligence but your body,” said the tall and lanky student with big dreams. “I believe that sports builds character and this is an age when we should be open to more and more things.”

It just so happened that a schoolmate of his was Keri Younghusband. One didn’t need a degree in rocket science to figure out that she was related to a couple of chaps named James and Phil who kicked the ball around a bit.

“The idea behind MI is for kids to find their different strengths and one is bodily and kinesthetic intelligence,” expounded Mary Joy Abaquin, Directress of MI. “Football is an interpersonal sport that will develop more than athletic skills and we are fortunate to be able to partner with the Younghusband Football Academy on our new school sports program. But you have to give it to King for his persistence.”

King’s campaign was a success. Some 80 students from different levels applied for the football program. And following the Philippine Men’s National Team’s success in the recent Suzuki Cup, the interest increased manifold.

“It was only me who liked the sport,” admitted King. “There were other students who were into football but not as much. Most prefer to play computer games or stay indoors. So I said I had to do something about this. I am happy to see the program take off.”

“I think it’s an excellent opportunity for us to give back to the game,” said Phil Younghusband who admitted to enjoying coaching the youngsters through the Younghusband Football Academy. “It reminds my brother and I of our time in Chelsea where we were just so excited to learn and come out every day. I must say that it’s a very good feeling to be able to teach children football. Partnering with MI is special because our younger sister, Keri, goes there.”

“At Chelsea, all our attention had to be on football because there was a very competitive and exciting atmosphere. It was very important to go into the day with the correct attitude because everything affected our performance on the pitch, added Phil. “Our parents provided a lot of support because it isn’t very easy trying to be a professional footballer. Our dad was always there to watch and cheer for us. He passed away in 2003 and in many ways, the Younghusband Football Academy is a tribute to him and to help Filipinos in the game of football.”

Older brother James also stressed the importance of the values of the game. “My brother and I have always been known as team players.  There are the values of teamwork, fair play, discipline, and diligence that one should learn and use on and off the pitch.”

Last January 13, the brothers began their inaugural training session for Multiple Intelligence School at the Ateneo de Manila football field that drew quite a crowd as the parents of the participants as well as dozens of onlookers watched under the sweltering heat. After the two-hour session, a beaming King toweled off the sweat while slapping hands with his schoolmates for a memorable first day. “It was a great opening session for our football program. I think that my classmates and friends were really excited because the Younghusband brothers were teaching us. It was only a few weeks ago we were watching them on television and now we are beside them playing football. It energizes us.”

Just then, Phil Younghusband passed by and patted Camacho on the head. “Future Azkal,” pronounced the striker for the national team.

The young student beamed from ear to ear. The next session couldn’t come quickly enough. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Robert Rodriguez' The Black Mamba

Robert Rodriguez has cast Kobe Bryant, Bruce Willis and (super cool and bad ass Mex) Danny Trejo in a film entitled The Black Mamba. It is produced by Nike Basketball, and Rodriguez will direct. The release has been slated for the upcoming NBA All-Star weekend. Check out some photo stills provided by Nike! 

Stuff you might be interested in

Look at this way cool tee shirt from adidas featuring Derrick Rose. They also have Kevin Garnett and one more dude. Shirts costs PhP 1,200 and it glows in the dark! Whoa!

Below is a CD box "50 Greatest Footballers" set that I got from the St. Francis Square tiangge. It's five discs and it fetches for Php 400 bucks. I was able to haggle for a lower price at PhP 320. Check it out. With features on Paolo Maldini, Gerd Muller, Garrincha, Raul, Franz Beckenbauer, Pele, Marco Van Basten, Zinedine Zidane, Gabriel Batistuta and many others. Really worth the quid. But haggle, man. Haggle. I also picked up a box set of Lone Wolf and Cub (that feudal Japan samurai series that is oh so cool). 

What's your color anyways?

A car salesman in Chicago was fired for refusing to remove a Green Bay Packers tie he wore to work.  According to the owner of the dealership, it might also affect sales as angry Chicagoans might not want to buy a car from a Packers fan. Honestly, as much as it displeases me I think it’s the salesman’s prerogative. However, that salesman should have been more circumspect. After all, the loss was painful for Chicago Bears fans. 

That reminded me of that clerk at the Strand bookstore in Union Square.  In the basement section where you have the hardbound and coffeetable books, I remember the guy who worked the help counter always wore a Red Sox cap and he would always go into this diatribe against the Yankees (he should have moved to New England). As much as I wanted to decapitate him I guess people are entitled to be Red Sox fans. It wasn't always a pretty sight. One time a Yankees fan tried to slug him and had to be restrained.

Sports and the passions it elicits sure makes us different people.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Jan 25, 2011. Class on photography, why journalism is a rough draft to history and the Homeless World Cup and their fight against poverty. One of our best classes so far. We try to make the classes very interactive for everyone. We give them the forum to express themselves through writing, photography, and video. There have been plenty of surprises so far. Even the jocks in class have turned in great work.

What did he say? Cracks in FIFA.

What did he say?

With the way the football (and statements from football officials) have been bouncing back and forth, I’m scratching my head and asking, “What?”

The apparent rift between FIFA President Joseph Blatter and AFC President Mohammad Bin-Hammam is being played out in the public. These football officials have been in the game and in the public eye for quite some time and their statements aren’t just loose lips but carefully orchestrated moves of which one can only surmise their intention.

This might have been there for the longest time but I began to pay more attention to it when Hammam wrote Blatter about allegedly reneging on the investigation of former PFF president Jose Mari Martinez who is a known supporter of the AFC president.

What happened there was in a meeting in Doha, Blatter and Hammam agreed to investigate Martinez’ ouster more thoroughly. But a week later, FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke issued a statement stating that their findings corroborated that the removal of Martinez was legal and just. An exchange of fax messages ensued with Hammam accusing Blatter of interference in AFC Congress affairs. Why he said that was so mindboggling considering he interfered in a PFF Congress two years ago.

Then came that CNN interview with Blatter where he expressed his opinion that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar be played in the winter months. Not only will that wreak havoc on the domestic leagues but it might even overlap with the 2022 Winter Olympics. Moreover, why wasn’t that proposal brought to the table even before the elections for the awarding of the 2022 World Cup hosting rights? 

What is even more curious is Hammam’s response. "We in FIFA should stop acting on behalf of people who are going to be in power in the future," said the Qatari football leader. "There will be a different executive committee in FIFA which will be in power that day. Let them decide what is best for 2022," he said. "Why are we rushing? Why are you in hurry to decide something for 2022?"

That begs the question – why was there even a vote for the 2022 World Cup? Wasn’t that premature? There will be a different executive committee a few years from now and why are they trying to decide something that is 11 years away? Why was a bid for 2002 held when the World Cups in Brazil and Russia had yet to be played? Why was everyone in a hurry?

In the wake of the officiating busts of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the calls for the use of instant replay and goal-line technology have gotten louder. Blatter has agreed to push for the latter and not the former. In that same interview with CNN, he informed the public that some 17 different systems are currently being tested in addition to improving high level officiating. He did opine that all this might be difficult to pass with the executive committee with people who are supposedly old school.

There is noting wrong with being a stickler for tradition, history, and the rules and statutes. However, if they aren’t open-minded to improving the game, I say that “it’s 2011, if they are still old school then they should retire. After all they’ve been there for quite some time.”

And that is exactly what Hammam is now calling for.

"Everybody is going to accuse us today as corrupted people because maybe people see Mr. Blatter has stayed a long time in FIFA," Bin Hammam told The Associated Press last Monday. "Thirty-five years in one organization is quite a long time. No matter how clean you are, honest or how correct you are, still people will attack you. You are going to be defenseless. That is why I believe change is the best thing for the organization."

However you look at it them’s fighting words. It would be interesting to see if Hammam will oppose Blatter who is seeking a fourth term as FIFA president.

With FIFA in the eye of the storm over the faulty officiating, bribery and corruption scandals as well as controversial rulings, football’s governing body is backpedalling. It’s one step back and two steps forward. Said Blatter: The President of Europe Michel Platini is totally against any technical device because he's afraid that when we are in the goal-line technology we could go to the 18-yard line and we can go to the offside position or whatever, but for the time being we are talking about only goal-line technology. So let's look forward positively.”

Yet in a statement regarding FIFA’s cleanliness that will remind Philippine football officials of the long and arduous task of ousting its former head who was oft quoted in this way, Blatter said: "Our accounts are open to everyone.”


My answer to Monsieur Platini is this: You don't need to go to the offside. You can keep it to the goal-line for now. But consider this... had instant replay been used. There was a chance France might have not gone on to play in South Africa. Considering how Les Bleus embarrassed themselves and the country, maybe that would have been for the best. Ah, but history can only be viewed backwards. Nevertheless... instant replay. Instant replay.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ateneo Men's Football Match #3 Out of the quagmire

This appears in

FEU's Ronnie Aguisanda takes aim at Ateneo keeper Joel Faustino

Out of the quagmire
Ateneo 1 vs. FEU 1
by rick olivares
photo by Brosi Gonzales

January 23, 2011
Erenchun Field
Playing in the mud is part and parcel of the game of football. Every football will swear that it’s fun and it harkens back to when one first fell in love with the game.

However, when one begins to play serious football, there’s a rhyme and reason for sloshing through the mud.

For the UST Growling Tigers, it’s taking advantage of their taller players so they play the long ball.

Incredibly, the UP Maroons’ game is the anti-thesis as they prefer the ground game. “It’s all about securing that first touch before it bounces,” said head coach Anto Gonzales.

The UE Red Warriors boast perhaps the best strike corps in the UAAP with Fitch Johnson Arboleda and Gringo Bravo. The two are deft footballers that knife through central backs like tenpins for a strike. But the mud renders their speed useless and De La Salle took advantage of that to forge a scoreless draw even as their own strikers faltered.

For the FEU Tamaraws, perhaps the sleeper team of this tournament and their attackers stymied just like’s UE’s, they prefer to bombard from the outside. Through the past few years, they were the top team in goals scored from a free kick. Against the Ateneo Blue Booters, they tested goal keeper Joel Faustino with four shots from the outside before team captain Ronnie Aguisanda’s blast found a crack through the wall that bended in to find the back of the net.

The game was ugly for many reasons. For one, the players resembled prehistoric warriors as they were caked in mud. The slippery conditions were comedic at times especially when players slipped before and after kicking the ball. At one point, FEU’s Jesus Melliza raced after the ball then fell into a pool face first. As possession for the ball became vital as FEU hoped to land that knockout goal and Ateneo went for the equalizer, tempers flared. And it coalesced into one frightening moment when Ateneo captain Mario Marcelo took an elbow from Melliza while struggling for control and he returned the gesture with a punch to the FEU player’s head. Benches nearly emptied but the officials were able to separate the teams before things got any worse.

Marcelo was handed a red card and with his banishment, a suspension for two matches. But instead of folding, the Blue Booters, down to 10 men, battled on. And in the 86th minute, Gab Siojo took a shot from inside the box that FEU keeper Leoben Wayco parried and was unable to corral because of the muddy situation.

The ball bounced towards Atenean Choy Kapunan and an FEU defender who both collided with one another as the ball hit them. The ball bounced in – much to the chagrin and shock of FEU and to the delight of the Ateneo bench -- for the equalizer.

Ateneo had its second goal of the season and more importantly, its first point that they earned from the final 1-1 draw.

The result may not have been an outright win but what was important was that Ateneo arrested their two-game slide, they scored, and their corresponding point put them one behind FEU and UST who both had two points in three matches.

“It wasn’t pretty but any point you can get is good,” reflected Siojo after the match.

“Meron pa tayong ibu-buga,” said Ateneo head coach Arnulfo Merida. “Basta lumalaban lang kaya natin.”

As the stunned FEU team made their way towards Blue Eagle Gym for a shower, Ronnie Aguisanda shook his head at his team’s misfortune. “Sayang.” Said the Cagayan native. “Ma-putik kasi.”

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Interview with Kiefer Ravena on his decision to play for the Ateneo Blue Eagles

Interview conducted at noon of January 23, 2011 outside Blue Eagle Gym following a friendly match between the Ateneo Blue Eagles and a South Korean team. Thanks for the interview, Kief!

I had to re-upload the video after I was asked to edit out a few things. So the original (that wasn't complete none the less but still garnered over 500 views) is now in limbo. 

Ateneo stuns FEU for a draw; UP wins 3rd straight

This appears in the Monday January 24, 2011 edition of the Business Mirror.

Ateneo stuns FEU for a draw; UP wins 3rd straight
by rick olivares

The Ateneo de Manila Blue Booters scored an 86th minute goal to forge a 1-1 draw with defending champion FEU yesterday at the Season 73 UAAP Men’s Football Tournament as the home team’s football field in Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

Ateneo salvaged a draw despite being down to 10 players after team captain Mario Marcelo was sent off with a red card following a punching foul on FEU striker Jesus Melliza following a scramble for the ball right before the midfield line. Marcelo will be suspended for two matches.
It was a sorry ending for the Tamaraws who were well on their way to picking up their first win of the season after an early season loss and draw. Team captain and former national player Ronnie Aguisanda scored on a fee kick that found a crack through the Ateneo wall in the 28th minute.

With all seemingly lost for Ateneo, midfielder Gab Siojo’s volley bounced off FEU keeper Leoben Wayco and the ball hit Blue Booter Caesario Kapunan for the equalizer.

FEU had several chances to pull out a win but Aguisanda and Melliza saw two of their shots hitting the goalposts.

In the first of the day’s triple header, UE and De La Salle finished with a scoreless tie while in the main game, front-running UP pounced on a mistake by UST’s defense to score a stunning 1-nil win.

With UST dominating possession and on scoring chances, UP scored on a quick counter attack when Nathan Octavio sent a long cross into the box that evaded Nick Palacio. The ball fell right in front of UP’s rookie striker Jinggoy Valmayor who tapped in the ball in the 67th minute for the goal that was his third of the season.

UP head coach Anto Gonzales thrown out in the 49th minute for excessive complaining to the referee. Because of the send-off, Gonzales will be suspended for one match.

The win gave UP nine full points in three matches to seize the lead in the tournament. La Salle is in second with five points, UE is at third with three points, FEU and UST are tied at fourth with two points each while Ateneo is at the bottom with 1point.