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 5, 2011

Tigers avert a power loss to spoil Shopinas’ debut

This appears in

Tigers avert a power loss to spoil Shopinas’ debut
by rick olivares
with photos by brosi gonzales

October 5, 2011
Cuneta Astrodome
Pasay City

The Powerade Tigers averted an inglorious meltdown in their Philippine Cup debut when they coughed up a 24-point lead to turn back hard-fighting Shopinas in the end game for a 98-87 victory.

The Tigers rode their blistering first quarter barrage (on 64.7% shooting from the field) and a Josh Vanlandingham trey at the 10:59 mark of the second period to post a 40-16 lead. But Shopinas got its game going as Renren Ritualo, finding himself the veteran in a roster of former stars from the NCAA and the UAAP, found his shooting touch while sophomore Elmer Espiritu held serve in the shaded lane.

Ritualo, reunited with Franz Pumaren, his former college coach in La Salle, responded to the minutes given him by pacing the youthful squad with 19 points. When the Tigers in the third canto guarded Ritualo more tightly, the Clickers methodically sliced Powerade’s lead behind the combined 19 points of Jojo Duncil, Khasim Mirza, and James Sena.

After Duncil hit two free throws to come within a bucket, 69-71, with 1:38 to play in the third quarter, Powerade answered with an 8-2 to give them some breathing room entering the final quarter.

The Tigers’ defense held in the fourth as Celino Cruz and rookie pick Marcio Lassiter combined for nine points to hold off the Clickers for the win. Although Ritualo scored eight points in the last quarter, he missed three attempts from beyond the arc that doused any chance of a rally.

“I am happy we won but I am not satisfied with our defense,” said Powerade coach Bo Perasol after the game. And Marcio had only two complete practices with us before the season started. We need to work hard on our defense and our cohesion.”

Gary David led Powerade with 31 points while Cruz added 15, Vanlandingham 14, and Lassiter 10.

Lassiter admitted that there were moments when he had trouble executing the team’s offense as he would drift off to the offense of Smart Gilas Pilipinas where he played for three years. Said the former Cal-State Fullerton guard, “Yeah there were times when I thought, ‘this is the part where I lob the ball to Japeth (Aguilar) or to Marcus (Douthit).’ Or ‘this is where we find Chris (Lutz) and Mac (Baracael) when they fight around the picks for a shot.’ It’s still early. I’ll get it (the Tigers’ offense).”

The Fil-Am’s former Gilas teammate, Jayvee Casio who is this year’s number one overall pick in the draft, missed the game because of a mild knee injury. Perasol said that the former La Salle gunner could miss another three to four matches before he is cleared to play.  

But it was Ritualo, who preceded Casio as La Salle’s top gun, who nearly stole the show with his shooting (50% form the field). “Of course I am happy to be reunited with Coach Franz,” said a visibly elated Ritualo outside the Shopinas dugout. “It’s been what – 10 years since I last played for him. And now I am the veteran. Nakakahawa yung enthusiasm ng team. Parang college ulit. Pero syempre, mas maganda sana ‘tong debut namin kung panalo. So we just use this to build for the future.”

Sena, who was selected 10th overall in the 2009 PBA Draft by San Miguel but was not signed, was also a revelation for Pumaren. The former Jose Rizal University Heavy Bomber scored 15 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. He also dished off two assists.

Powerade 98David 31, Cruz 15, Vanlandingham 14, Lassiter 10, Antonio 8, Lingganay 6, Kramer 6, Anthony 4, Calimag 4, Adducul 0.

Shopinas 87Ritualo 19, Sena 15, Duncil 11, Mirza 9, Sison 8, Hermida 7, Espiritu 6, Jazul 6, Menor 6, Canlas 0, Canta 0, Se 0.


Smart Gilas watch. Marcio Lassiter stat line: 10 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 5 turnovers.

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