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, October 20, 2011

Rain or Shine weathers late Meralco surge for win

This appears in

Rain or Shine weathers late Meralco surge for win
by rick olivares photo by brosi gonzales

October 19, 2011
Smart Araneta Coliseum

The main game of the Wednesday night PBA double header followed the same script of the first match between Barako Bull and Talk ‘N Text – team posts a huge lead and other team rallies but comes up short.

That was as far as the similarities went for the game between Rain or Shine and Meralco.

In a first half marred by rough play, trash talking, cheap shots, profane language, and a near fight, the two looked to be headed for a furious finish after a 41-40 score after 24 minutes played with Rain or Shine on top.

The first half was characterized by individual brilliance as Ronjay Buenafe showed that the Elasto Painters were more than just the Paul Lee Show. The former Emilio Aguinaldo College General scored nine points, seven of them consecutive of free throws sandwiching a pair of fastbreak layups that put some distance between his side and Meralco, 31-26, at the 8:04 mark of the second period.

Espinas, reinserted at the four-minute mark of the quarter, provided a spark as he grabbed rebounds and scored six straight points including a bank shot after posting up Ronnie Matias who flopped or was knocked down depending on whose point of view. On the ensuing play, Matias knocked Espinas down like a linebacker chasing a wide receiver.

After Espinas landed an elbow on Matias, the latter planted a hand on the Bolts forward’s head that had to two confronting each other with heated words. Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao got into the fray and was teed up for using profane language.

With the technical fouls canceling out each other, Espinas posted up Matias. Drawing an extra defender, the former Philippine Christian University player found teammate Mark Macapagal on the right corner pocket for a trey, 41-35 Rain or Shine.

A minute later, Macapagal hit another triple to inch even closer, 41-40.

After stopping ROS on their last offensive set, the ball was worked down to Meralco center Asi Taulava who has been playing well of late. Taulava backed down Elasto Painters forward-center Jervy Cruz but missed a short jumper. As Taulava came down he confronted Cruz who he thought gave him an unsporting nudge. Both teams rushed between the two to break things up.

At the resumption of the game, although it was a fired up Rain or Shine team took to the court, it was all about basketball and not the World Wrestling Entertainment that characterized the first half.

Rain or Shine dropped a 30-9 blast on 50% field goal shooting to open up a 71-49 lead after three frames played. The Bolts, still without stars Mark Cardona, Sol Mercado, and Chris Ross, shot a horrible 11% from the field and turned the ball over five times that Rain or Shine took advantage of for nine points.

Meralco launched a furious endgame rally by putting 40 points on the board to the 13 of Rain or Shine but the Elasto Painters Larry Rodriguez scored on two crucial possessions off assists by Lee to hold off the late charge.

The 89-84 win put Rain or Shine at 3-1 good for second place behind undefeated Petron Blaze that has a 3-0 record while Meralco fell to an even 2-2.

Rain or Shine 89 - Norwood 14, Chan 14, Lee 12, Rodriguez 11, Buenafe 9, Matias 8, Belga 6, Quinahan 6, Ibanes 5, AraƱa 4, Cruz 0.

Meralco 84 - Macapagal 20, Espinas 19, Taulava 16, Lanete 14, Isip 6, Borboran 5, Ballesteros 2, Omolon 2, Timberlake 0, Yee 0.

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