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, October 26, 2011

Ateneo Lady Eagles blank nemesis Adamson to top Unigames group

Ateneo Lady Eagles blank nemesis Adamson to top Unigames group
Ateneo def. Adamson 25-22, 25-16, 25-22
by rick olivares

October 26, 2011
Pan-ay Civic Center
There’s a moment in a game where a team either seizes control or falls apart. For years, the Ateneo Women’s Volleyball Team oft had their path blocked by the Adamson Lady Falcons. Even when they had a chance to put away their nemesis, they wilted under the pressure. Twice Adamson ended the Lady Eagles’ Final Four campaign. And there have been numerous defeats before and since.

When the two teams faced off at the Pan-ay Civic Center for the top seed of their group, there weren’t any smiles that characterized their blowouts of the overmatched Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion and University of Negros Occidental- Recoletos.  

This was serious business and when the first set began, the teams traded points, blocks, aces, and service errors. For the Lady Eagles, the compact blocking at the net and the excellent receiving that marked their first two wins was gone. It was replaced by tentativeness, a lack of communication, and a gaping hole in the back that Adamson’s hitters found with precision.

The score was 20-16 for Adamson after Shiela Marie Pineda’s spike punctured the Lady Eagles’ defense.

In the next play, Ateneo was able to work the ball to Fille Cainglet who hammered home a shot just behind Pineda. Cainglet, this year’s captain, then blocked Adamson’s Pau Soriano for a point. Alyssa Valdez scored on a spike and Aiilysse Nacachi blocked a spike.

Just like that the first set was tied at 20.

Valdez smashed home another point and when Soriano’s reply went out of bounds, Ateneo held a two-point lead, 22-20. In times, past, the Lady Eagles would surrender this lead.

Before the game started, a table official said that the team facing the western side of the gym oft lost the first set of the game (that also led to a defeat). He reasoned out that the glare made it tough for the team on the east side to receive and serve. By the time, they normally adjusted, the other squad had wrapped up the first set.

But Valdez, the team’s long awaited open hitter who is deemed to be a game changer, added another point while Nacachi was once more a wall at the net. In just one minute, Ateneo had set point.

Following an Adamson serve, setter Jem Ferrer’s drop shot gave the team the first set. And that was a massive shot of confidence to Roger Gorayeb’s girls.

The Ateneo volleybelles had their Adamson counterparts on the ropes in the second set 16-10 as they finally got their game going. But in another moment that tested their resolve, the Lady Falcons charged right back to within a point 16-15 after Cainglet’s smash was rejected.

Ateneo responded with Gretchen Ho blocking Mayette Zapanta for a point that gave the team some breathing room. Angelica Quinlog hit the net on the next play then Cainglet scored to restore a four—point 19-15 lead.

The challenge had been met and Ferrer once more closed the set, 25-16, with a brilliant toss that dropped in right before the touchline.

In the third set, Dzi Gervacio and Bea Tan gave the team a huge lift with some timely points, defense, and digging. Cainglet spiked home a killer for match point, 25-22.

And so Ateneo beat Adamson to top Group C of the Women’s Volleyball competition.

Said Gorayeb afterwards, “Sinagot nila yung hamon ng Adamson nung first and second sets. Kapag hinayaan mong humabol yung at pumuntos ng pumuntos, lalakas yung loob nila. Tama yung ginawa nila at pinatay nila yung hamon.”

Note: The Ateneo Lady Eagles will be without Fille Cainglet, Jem Ferrer, Gretchen Ho, Alyssa Valdez, Dennise Lazaro, and Angeline Gervacio in tomorrow’s crossover quarterfinals as they will be competing in the V-League Southeast Asian Club Invitational from October 27-30. That team will be reinforced by Aerieal Patnongon and possibly Charo Soriano. The remaining six – Ella de Jesus, Aillysse Nacachi, Bea Tan, Natasha Faustino, Mona Bagatsing, Sarah Cruz, and Mary Tajima will finish their Unigames campaign. They play CPU at 9am at the Pan-ay Civic Center.

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