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.

Friday, November 11, 2011

#11 (Joshua Beloya) makes my day

Last summer, I got the opportunity to cover the Under-23 National Championships around the country. That was one of the coolest experiences ever. Wrote a bunch of stories about the teams and matches and in that time, I struck up a friendship with Joshua Beloya who was going great guns for the Bacolod team. He was named tournament MVP after he led his team to the title while scoring 15 goals. After the group stage, I (along with Red Avelino and Eilleen Esteban) made it my mission to promote Josh as I thought that he alongside other great U-23 players were deserving of a chance to play in the national team (there were no other media peeps until the semis and certainly no coaches watching). After the finals, I was once more fortunate enough to catch him at the recently concluded University Games. Although his La Salle Stingers were eliminated 1-0 by De La Salle University, he was awesome in the tournament. After that semis loss, we both chatted on the pitch. He had two excellent chances to win the match or even equalize but the shots were either parried or wide. Against Laos, as he latched onto that forward pass -- I had seen this before in the U-23 national cup -- I thought he'd control it before volleying. And true enough he did and it gave the Philippines a spark of life. 

What a day -- it's my birthday today and it has been plenty good so far -- and thanks to #11 (Josh wears that number for Bacolod, USLS and now the U-23 team so you can say that he has his own version of 11-11-11). It's fate I suppose.

Here are links to that summer of the U-23. Kindly use the navigation below the page that says "newer posts" and "older posts".


  1. Great game from Joshua Beloya indeed, and from the rest of the teammates who supported! That was a mean counter-attack in the dying seconds that brought the ball to Beloya in a flash. And how he controlled and finished!

    Fruit of the Under 23 Nationals pala! Just shows how these local tournaments are so important.

    Did you get to meet his coach in Bacolod? That guy has developed so many good players. And he still plays so well until now.

  2. Hi Gejo: The tournaments sure are and there was so much talent there. I reco that you check out the archives of BLEACHERS' BREW April and May 2011. I put the links. As for Norman Fegidero Jr. we have been friends since his time as head coach of the Azkals. He was the man who scored against Malaysia in the 1991 SEA Games that won the match for us. He coaches West Negros U and Pachanga. Follow my stuff about them. In fact, am joining their training camp next week in Bacolod.

  3. Thanks for the reply Rick. Watched the replay this morning. What an experience like that can do for these boys, this team. In any situation they can always think, "Anything is possible!"

    It will still need a number of breaks for the team to reach the semis. Hopefully they do, and hopefully they go on to somehow win a first SEA Games Medal for Phil Men's Football. But even if they don't, if they display this same never say die spirit, together with their steadily improving team chemistry, they will have made their mark.

    If Joshua Beloya is from La Salle Bacolod, then he might have a different coach. I met the La Salle Bacolod coach in a coaching seminar PFF had a few years ago, in tandem with the Footbal Association of a Spanish Province (Andalucia?) - he even still plays really well at his age. Just could not recall his name now.

    Norman Fegidero is of course a legend, as coach and as player. I do follow your posts - great and prolific work Rick!

  4. Went through the archives. Wow what a story on Joshua Beloya! Kudos, Rick. Among the press, it was solely you who discovered Joshua from the beginning. Yes, even those really great crosses he made, you already wrote about his crossing ability early this year. There's certainly more to come from Beloya.

    Could not seem to find his name in the UFL, not even in Fegider's Pachanga. Expect a whole recruitment war, if so.

    While Beloya scored the two goals, there was a lot of help from the rest of the team. The pass of Porteiro to Hartmann who eventually laid the ball up for Beloya for the 2nd goal, was great. The defensive stop, then the long pass from the middle (I could not tell who it was) that fed Beloya for the 3rd and final goal was blindly kicked but pinpoint- he certainly knew where Beloya was even before the pass. The team played so much better when they were down to ten men.

  5. Red Avelino and I immediately identified Joshua as top player. I don't even think the Bacolod team had any idea of what the had in him. He came of the bench in his first game before he moved up to the starting unit. Then Coach Butod and Eilleen Esteban also agreed that Josh along with a few others needed pushing to join the national squad. On the night before the U23 Finals, Red Avelino and Coach Butod were removed from the competition although unjustly. When I looked at the committee they were giving the awards to another group. I argued that we were the ones who watched all the matches not the new committee. We had already drawn up the winners and thankfully, they followed us. Josh was the MVP.

  6. You brought up something significant. Sometimes competitions are marred by haphazard granting of awards such as MVP, etc. Sayang if the awards are incorrectly given, it cheapens these awards. Good it was not the case for Beloya in those tournaments.