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 19, 2011

Lunch with Coach Cuto at Sentro

The full interview appears in my column "The Woolybacks" in

Lunch with Coach Cuto at Sentro
by rick olivares

After Kaya defeated Victory Liner-Diliman FC 3-2 last Saturday, I made my way down to the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium pitch to seek out players and coaches from both sides. I congratulated the SeƱor on his squad’s victory. While doing the game analysis for AKTV, I mentioned that I thought the match was not only the best played one and the most thrilling thus far in the young UFL Cup but it was also a delight from a footballing standpoint. It was like a chess game between the two coaches – Bob Salvacion for Diliman and Juan Cutillas for Kaya.

Juan Cutillas first arrived in the Philippines in the early 1970s as part of a Spanish contingent that included Tomas Lozano, Manuel Cuenca, and Julio Rojas among others who were tasked to inject new life into Philippine football. Cutillas coached then local champion side San Miguel and was also the country’s longtime national coach where many of today’s prominent names in the football scene played under him – Nonong Araneta, Bert Honasan, Norman Fegidero, Elmer Bedia, Rudy del Rosario, including some of the current Azkals in the Younghusband brothers, Aly Borromeo, Chieffy Caligdong, and Anton del Rosario. He also was the trainer for the RP national basketball teams to the Asian Basketball Championships that had in its lineup Robert Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez, Bogs Adornado, Francis Arnaiz, Yoyong Martirez, and Abet Guidaben among others.

Cutillas, a former Atletico Madrid player, later left the country for Australia where he won many honors including coach of the year. He returned to the Philippines in the late 1980s and has stayed in the Philippines for good where he is married to a Filipina.

Having known Coach “Cuto”, as Cutillas is fondly called by his players, for some time, we oft have some coffee and chat about football and other matters. We agreed to meet up last Tuesday over lunch at Sentro in Bonifacio High Street to catch up.

Before Billy Ray Bates was given his Grosby Superman shoes, there was Juan Cutillas who worked with both the Philippine national basketball and football teams. Here is a print ad with Coach Cuto.

Juan Cutillas with Atletico Madrid's first team against Zaragoza. Cuto is third from the left standing.

Here is an old column of former basketball star Chito Loyzaga who was also a newspaper columnist! It was of course, about Coach Cuto his old Ateneo grade school coach in football.

Cutillas with Pele in Hawaii. The Philippines national football team played in a four-country friendly. The Philippines beat Taiwan 1-0 while the New York Cosmos destroyed Japan 4-nil with Pele scoring all four goals!

A watch given by Lito Puyat to Juan Cutillas after the RP Youth Team won the Asian Basketball Confederation Championship in 1973 (in what was a 12-team competition). I have pics of that team (that included Robert Jaworksi, Ramon Fernandez, Francis Arnaiz, Bogs Adornado, Abet Guidaben and others) that I sent to interaksyon.


  1. That is quite a walk down memory lane, Rick. Thanks for sharing.