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 27, 2011

Tuesday: the UAAP titles games, Jerie Pingoy & the FEU Baby Tams, NU's Raph Atangan and stuff

Tuesday evening
When I woke up this morning, I said to myself I didn’t want to get up. I could have used a few more hours of sleep that always seems to be in such short supply.

Then I began to receive a lot of text messages inquiring about the UAAP games today. A quick check with the league authorities indicated their continuation.

Personally, I was against it considering the horrible weather. When I spoke to the four teams that played today (women’s and juniors) as well as FEU’s Anton Montinola today, they were all glad to play. They wanted to. They were all psyched up to play and they were nervous that all that energy would go for naught had it been postponed.

But the weather – it brought back a lot of unpleasant memories. I was a victim of Typhoon Ondoy two years ago (like many others) where my apartment was underwater and I lost much of what I own (also to looting). In many ways, I was happy to watch the UAAP basketball games (Women's and Juniors) that pushed through today.

Mr. Montinola told me after the Juniors game that he advised Ateneo to wait ‘til 12 noon before making the decision to postpone the seniors match because the weather would have cleared somewhat. And it did. But then again not everyone lives in the Cubao area so it was again for the best that it was postponed.

I saw some comments about how the finals series will turn against Ateneo (they cited 2006 when the Blue Eagles lost to UST). Now don’t get me started on that finals. That typhoon theory has been blown to smithereens with the 2009 finals between Ateneo and UE.

Anyways, I’ll share my thoughts on the seniors finals in the next few days. On to today’s games:

Juniors Game 2 NU vs. FEU
“Jerie Pingoy is Jerie Pingoy,” exclaimed National University head coach Jeff Napa. The Cebuano point guard scored 17 points in the first half and looked spectacular as he routinely beat his guard with his quick first step and devastating pull-ups and floaters.

That was 17 points in 15 minutes in the first half.

Talk about devastating. He gets where he wants to go. Can anyone guard him?

But what got the FEU Baby Tamaraws their 29-19 halftime lead was the strong play of Al-Jonier and Janner Hassan. I loved following the FEU Juniors squad this year. Not simply because of Pingoy, this year’s MVP. But I love the energy the Hassan brothers bring to the game.

They are an unrefined product with great energy. If you watch Al-Jonier, you have to like his willingness to sacrifice his body inside the lane as he takes charges and tries to block drives all while taking an elbow to the face. No Baby Tam gets hammered more than this kid.

I wish he’d stick that mid-range jumper with better consistency. Their shooting coach should tweak the mechanics of his release. A little more and he’d help his team a lot.

The brothers played great D, got the rebounds, and scored to points to put them up going into the break. However, come the second half, I thought that the NU Bullpups found a spark of life with the strong play of Raph Atangan and Paolo Rivero.

When I saw Atangan play last season, I was reminded of the Letran Squires Jarelan Tampus (of course he is now with La Salle) with the way he drove hard to the basket and scored on all these twisting layups. He should be awarded three points per bucket for the degree of difficulty.

NU played great D in the second half while Pingoy went mental – in the wrong sort of way. In FEU’s first six or seven possessions, Pingoy took the shot or turned it over. That just killed them right there. The ball never was whipped around and the others were not able to get into the game anymore.

Pingoy scored only four points in the second half – a bucket in third and another in the fourth period.

The halftime adjustments of NU were simple – crank up the D and let Pingoy shoot himself out of the game and stop his teammates.

I had to ask Napa about his wards’ atrocious three point shooting when he himself was such an assassin for the Bulldogs during his playing days. “Mahuhulog din yun,” he said optimistically.

Wherever the Bulldogs end up in this series, this is their best showing ever and Napa has done a good job. As for FEU, it’s been 25 years since they last won. That was when Johnny Abarrientos was manning their point. So history will be made right here in Game 3.

Tuesday morning
Someone asked if I bought Steven Gerrard’s autobiography. I am not too big on sports bio books but this one I picked up. And I enjoyed it. I wasn’t written I am sure. More like dictated then someone transcribed it and switched stuff here and there to sort out the ramblings. Still not bad. Gerrard’s story fills in a lot of gaps in my knowledge of Liverpool history.

Books. I have a huge backlog of reading material. About 25 books now? And that’s not counting the magazines.

Heavy rotation on my iTunes: Eyes Set to Kill (White Lotus), Arch Enemy (Khaos Legions), Dream Theater (A Dramatic Turn of Events), Taken By Cars (Dualist), Go Jimmy Go (Roots Rumble), Weezer (the blue album), Sigur Ros (Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust), Highball Holiday (self-titled), Death Cab for Cutie (Codes and Keys), and Yes (Fly from Here). How’s that for eclectic?

Will comment on Smart Gilas in a day or two. Let me clear my head and ask some questions before I sink my teeth into that.

Am surprised that the UAAP basketball championships will push through today in spite of this horrible weather. What on Earth! I know. I know. I cracked on my Facebook and Twitter account: “UAAP Season 74: All out. All heart. All weather.” So if you see someone use that line you know where they pilfered that from. 

I am all for seeing the games push through but not like this. It is putting people in harm’s way.

Monday night
Am in the midst of watching Season 5 of Top Chef. I got the original DVD. Of course, it’s New York. And love the challenges so far – to prep food based on different places in the city, to cook for the Foo Fighters, to cook on the Today Show… Okay. Stop. I’m only at that episode so far.

I am wishing for a few days where I didn’t have to work and instead stay in the kitchen and cook stuff. Quite an interesting shift in interests. Too late to be Top Chef but I can still do stuff in the kitchen.

I shift from one thing – doing office work at home, listening to Dream Theater’s new album A Dramatic Turn of Events, and falling asleep. Yes, I did. My king-sized bed has my pillows, laptops, and portable DVD player. If you looked at my bed from above it would resemble a work station. Now how I do not roll over my stuff is an art. Hahaha. I got used to sleeping on a couch, one airplane seat that I don’t need to roll over the place.

I woke up around midnight. Put in a few things then dozed off around 130am. I need to have a normal life.

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