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, September 13, 2011

This year’s UAAP Season 74 Men’s Basketball Awards (as I see it)

This year’s UAAP Season 74 Men’s Basketball Awards (as I see it)
by rick olivares

This year, the Most Valuable Player Award of Season 74 of the UAAP will go down to either National University’s Ray Parks and Ateneo’s Greg Slaughter. This is probably as close as the Dylan Ababou-Rabeh Al-Hussaini race of two years ago.

After Parks’ performance in the final game (coupled with Greg’s low output and Ateneo’s loss), I’d say that Ray will be crowned league MVP. And that will be huge for this Sampaloc-based school. And good for them I say.

I like Parks. I’ve spoken with him, interviewed him on many an occasion, and even paid him a visit to NU for a story in the next issue of Rebound. After this season, he’ll become an even better player. But right now, he’ll be MVP because of his slim lead on the statistical points. It’s a technicality in the determination process so there.

Years ago, the MVP and the other post-season awardees were determined through a vote by the media, players and coaches and officials. But after 2008 where Al-Hussaini was named MVP despite being second to Jervy Cruz in statistical points, some UAAP board members decided to go with the statistical points.

As we all saw last year, UE’s Ken Acibar was in the Mythical Five selection! Duh!

This year, in the women’s division, UE’s Cindy Resultay will be named MVP. Yet the Amazons have only one win in 14 games! If you’ve not seen her play, she is very good. Fun to watch even. But how can you be MVP if your team is languishing in the cellar? Seriously! That’s like Ken Acibar being in the Mythical Five!

This kind of determination process has got to stop. The league MVP has to come from a Final Four team. Anywhere else is a joke. You know, Wilt Chamberlain compiled huge stats. But Bill Russell was the true MVP because he made his team much better. If you are not convinced, read Bill Simmons' book. His points and arguments are on the money.

The problem with the voting process though is some votes can be swayed through “pakain” or “giveaways.”

Nevertheless, here’s my take on things even if Parks will be named Season 74 MVP. In this analysis, I’ll disregard the statistical points.

Why Parks?
He led the league in scoring and piled up incredible stats.

Why it should not be Parks?
He never towed his team to the Final Four. He piled up the stats in the last two games after his team was eliminated and the team played with no pressure.

Why Slaughter?
He led Ateneo to the best record in the league.
He was on a regular basis double or triple teamed. Who else got the same treatment? Maybe Karim Abdul of UST but only in the second round. Greg… should be MVP.

Why it shouldn’t be Slaughter?
Because Kiefer Ravena was there.
Because the team is the three-time defending champs and there are still many veterans who were a part of all three titles.

So… who do I figure to be in the Mythical Five?

Ray Parks (National University)
Greg Slaughter (Ateneo de Manila University)
Alex Nuyles (Adamson University)
Aldrech Ramos (Far Eastern University)
Kiefer Ravena (Ateneo de Manila University).

Most Improved Player, I’d go with UST’s Jeric Fortuna. That pull up jumper he developed made him a whole lot better.

Defensive Player of the Year. Greg Slaughter. Is there anyone else?

Rookie of the Year. Kiefer Ravena. The Phenom is not only ROY but should be in the Mythical Five. And he at one point, was in the running for even MVP. How good will he really be?

Sixth Man of the Year. Adamson’s Eric Camson or Ateneo’s Tonino Gonzaga. I like Camson who is always a scoring threat. But he’s been like that for years. Gonzaga… talk about playing the fireman’s role.

Coach of the Year. Ateneo’s Norman Black. I’m a huge fan of Leo Austria but his team’s record will hurt that. This year, I figured Ateneo to go 10-4 or 11-3. The 13-1 elimination round record sure is a biggie. And Ateneo’s consistency not just this year but through the years, cannot only be attributed to the players but to Coach Norm.


All-Defensive Team (if there was one): Greg Slaughter (AdMU), Aldrech Ramos (FEU), Kirk Long (AdMU), Emman Monfort (AdMU), and Ping Exciminiano (FEU).


  1. the rule should be changed. the mvp should be from a final four team at least. a LOT of the stats of parks were from garbage points even from that first round encounter with ateneo.

    if given a choice between greg and kiefer... it should even be kiefer as he saved ateneo from more losses vs greg just piling up statistical points.

  2. I agree. I wonder what the UAAP board members were thinking when they changed the rule. It shows how one-dimensional they are in the way they think. Parks posted good stats but like the guy above me said, most of them come from garbage time just to pad his stats.

    I can name a lot of players who deserve it more than Parks: Slaughter, Ravena, Garcia, Nuyles, Fortuna, Abdul, etc.

  3. i agree as to the proposition that the mvp should come from the final four. but i subscribe to the present system of not including media and player votes in the selection. this should not be a popularity contest.

  4. So if media and the players will not vote, who will then?

  5. I believe it should be similar to the NBA system where coaches and GMs do most of the voting. In the case of the UAAP, we do not have GMs so maybe the coaches and team managers will suffice. But, like in the NBA, they should not be allowed to vote for a player from their team. I think it should be 50% votes and 50% stats. There are just too many intangible things that stats can't measure (like Slaughter's inside intimidation, Long's defense, Parks' garbage scoring). That's where voting comes in.