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.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jones Cup: Taulava does a Pacquiao as Gilas knocks out Malaysia

Taulava does a Pacquiao as Gilas knocks out Malaysia
by rick olivares

CHINESE TAIPEI-- Smart Gilas Pilipinas rested a couple of its banged up players for what was expected to be a relatively easy match against Malaysia. But on the way to an 86-68 win to go 3-1 in the Jones Cup, they got entangled in some unexpected rough stuff and fisticuffs.

After Malaysia came within a point of overhauling Gilas’ 38-37 lead, Gilas dropped a 24-2 bomb that the Selangor never recovered from. That salvo put the Philippines up 61-40 late in the third quarter. It was a lead that they would maintain until game’s end.

Save for the basketball action, the match was largely uneventful until the late third period when Gilas center Asi Taulava punched Malaysian Yoong Jing Kwaan twice in retaliation for what the Filipino said was a low blow to the crotch area. The Filipinos had the ball at that time and Taulava was on the blocks waiting for their offensive play to develop. Both Yoong, who sent Taulava sprawling on the floor with a punch to his privates, and Taulava thrown out for their unsportsmanlike conduct.

It was an apologetic Taulava who addressed Filipinos in his Twitter account (mrlava_lava5): “Would like 2 apologize 2 everybody dat watch da game 2day 4 loosing my kool! No excuses 4 my action an I'm sorry. Da guy got me gud an I lost my temper."

Team captain Chris Tiu and forward Mac Baracael led the way with 14 points each while center Japeth Aguilar, forward Marcio Lassiter and swingman Chris Lutz added 13, 13 and 12 points respectively.

Gilas bounced back from a gut-wrenching 76-72 loss to Jordan and yet the nationals head coach Rajko Toroman was displeased with what he thought were periodic lapses in concentration and poor execution in the first half that saw Malaysia come back. "It was not so good game for us," said a somewhat disappointed Toroman who also opined that the team could not afford to pay the same against powerhouse South Korea, their next assignment. “We have to play much better,” sounded off the Serbian coach of the Philippine team.

Toroman will have Douthit, Casio, and Taulava back for the Nationals’ match-up with the Koreans, their longtime Asian tormentor. Taulava, according to Gilas officials, will not be suspended in spite of the punching incident that led to his ejection.

A win over South Korea will vault Gilas into the semifinals in the tournament that is being played at Hsinchuang Stadium in New Taipei City.

Smart Gilas Pilipinas 86 - Tiu 14, Baracael 14, Aguilar 13, Lassiter 13, Lutz 12, Ababou 6, Barroca 5, Ballesteros 4, Hontiveros 3, Taulava 2.

Malaysia 68 - Li 15, Yeo 9, Chun 8, Yeow 6, Chuan 5, Tian 5, Ban 4, Batumalai 4, Shee 4, Yoong 4, Eng 2, Zhi 2.

Quarterscores: 16-13; 37-34; 64-45; 86-68

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