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.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ateneo wins 12th straight; Adamson keeps pace

Ateneo wins 12th straight; Adamson keeps pace
by rick olivares

With Ateneo de Manila and Adamson on a collision course for their final matches of the elimination round of Season 74 of the UAAP, the two teams have had to worry more about lethargy than each other.

Both teams, running first and second respectively in the standings fashioned out similar wins over the bottom two teams in the standings.

Adamson was down to UE 28-27 in the first half where they missed seven consecutive three-point attempts. But come the third period, Alex Nuyles and Eric Camson provided much-needed scoring sock that knocked the wind out of UE’s sails. Nuyles scored 13 points while Camson added 8 in a late third quarter surge for a 51-40 lead after 30 minutes of play while their stifling zone kept the Red Warriors from making their shots.

Come the fourth quarter, the Falcons continued their merciless barrage to turn what was a close game into a blowout 76-56 win for their ninth win in 12 matches.

In the second game, the Ateneo Blue Eagles started out slow as well and needed a late second quarter spurt behind Kiefer Ravena and Greg Slaughter for a 32-28 lead going into the half.

Immediately attacking UP’s interior at the resumption of the third quarter, Slaughter fished the third foul of UP’s center Alinko Mbah and the Blue Eagles proceeded to drop a 14-2 bomb that put them in control of the match. The Fighting Maroons, playing without pressure, hung tough and brought the lead down to five, 45-40, after Paolo Romero, a former Ateneo Blue Eaglet hit a hook shot over Slaughter.

But Ateneo’s seven-foot center, double and triple teamed all game long, knocked down three free throws along with one from Nico Salva to give Ateneo some breathing room 50-41 after three quarters.

In the fourth period, the three-time defending champions put the clamps on UP for a 78-53 victory, their 12th straight keeping their record unblemished to date.

Slaughter compiled 18 points, 18 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block while Nico Salva added 16 points. Justin Chua, who started on last year’s champion Ateneo team arguably had his best game of the season when he tallied 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

The Maroons were led by Mike Silungan’s 16 points.

“To be honest with you, right now, I am not looking at the stats but am just trying to get some wins,” said Ateneo mentor Norman Black. “We hope to get another against NU this Saturday then we’ll talk about our last assignment (Adamson).”

The Falcons’ head coach Leo Austria also said the same thing after he noted that his team seemed to be looking forward to their long-awaited rematch with the Blue Eagles to whom they have a 14-year losing streak. “Parang yun na lang ang iniisip nila but we still have to win some games,” cautioned Austria. “FEU (7-4) has a chance to still catch us and it’s important that we remain focused for our games against teams like UE who have been playing well.”

The Falcons were led by Eric Camson’s 20 points while Nuyles and Lester Alvarez added 17 and 10 points respectively.

The two squads play each other on Saturday, September 10, at the Araneta Coliseum.

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