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.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

B-Meg vs. Alaska: The Battle of the Necktie Brigade Part 2

This appears in
B-Meg rookie Mark Barroca attempts a shot against Alaska's Cyrus Baguio in the final seconds of the first overtime. B-Meg won 92-89 in double overtime with Barroca scattering 22 points.

The Battle of the Necktie Brigade
Part Two: The Big Shots and the Big Stops
by rick olivares photo by nuki sabio

November 13, 2011
Smart Araneta Coliseum

When the B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados drafted Mark Barroca he steeled himself for some bench time. After all, he was drafted into a talented and deep team that has won a few championships.

Suddenly, with Peter June Simon out, Barroca figured he might be given a chance. And it was nearly disastrous.

“Mark started and he made some bonehead rookie mistakes,” described B-Meg head coach Tim Cone. “He’s gonna make wild mistakes but he plays with so much heart and intensity that they are mistakes of enthusiasm. You can handle that with a player like that because he will get those mistakes under control.”

With the score notched at 80-all, Cone called for the ball to go into Barroca’s hands. The Llamados’ coaching staff expected him to go up against either LA Tenorio who is just as tall as Barroca or Bonbon Custodio who is slower than the B-Meg rookie. But instead, swingman Cyrus Baguio guarded him. Barroca backed up Baguio before he shot a turnaround jumper that nearly went in.

Second overtime.

Despite the miss, Barroca had done well for his side. Up to that point, he had scored 20 points, 2 rebounds, and 4 steals (with three turnovers). With B-Meg down a deuce, Barroca swiped the ball from Alaska center Jay-R Reyes when he put the ball on the floor while driving to the hoop. Putting on a burst of speed, Barroca drove the length of the floor for an unmolested layup to tie the match at 80-all.

In the second overtime James Yap scored eight points Barroca added a deuce to propel B-Meg Derby Ace to a pulsating double overtime 92-89 win over the reeling Alaska Aces.

“It was a game of big shots and big stops,” summed up Cone afterwards. While his side may have Yap who has made his name in the clutch, Alaska on the other hand, couldn’t buy a basket.

In the final 95 seconds of regulation, the Aces missed five shots that could have extended their lead. Reyes even blew a reverse and uncontested lay up with 17.3 seconds left.

Incredibly, Alaska rookie Mac Baracael would also miss with the same kind of shot in the dying seconds of the first overtime that allowed Barroca’s last shot at a win.

Both teams shot incredibly well (each over 50%) in the first quarter that Alaska took 25-22. But once the teams adjusted to each other’s running of the triangle offense, the field goal percentage begun to plunge. Yet it was Alaska that found itself with an opportunity to even up matters with B-Meg who beat them 81-75 last October 12.

The Aces twice had the opportunity to beat B-Meg, the first in regulation but Reyes muffed the undergoal stab and the second was in the first overtime when Baracael duplicated his teammate’s folly.

B-Meg was not about to give Alaska a third chance to win it. The win pulled B-Meg even with idle rival Meralco with a 5-4 record while Alaska fell to a dismal 1-7 just one win better than the winless Shopinas Clickers who are 0-8. “We marked this as a turning part in our season,” further described Cone. “We’re over .500 and that is very important for us. It was a character game for us.”

Not only was it a character match for B-Meg but it was also a coming out party for Barroca. The rookie guard was the only Llamado who scored in every quarter and overtime period. And Yap, twice named the league’s Most Valuable Player, had good words for the team’s rookie. “Magaling yan. Tandaan mo magiging isa siya sa mga best player sa PBA.”

Added forward-center Marc Pingris, “Pinahihirapan ko ‘yan pag-practice para mahasa siya.”

Barroca corroborated the one-on-one games between him and the much taller Pingris to better develop a high arcing and quick release jumpshot. “Sa practice, sabi ni coach tira lang ako ng tira ng mga 18-foot jumpers. Nagulat ako na binigay sa akin ni Coach Tim yung last shot. Alam naman natin hindi siya basta basta naglalaro ng rookie. Inisip ko na lang yung mga ginagawa namin sa Smart Gilas at sa FEU. Sabi rin ni coach kahit nagmintis ka pagdating ng panahon marami akong masho-shoot na jumper.

If B-Meg saw clutch shots from two of its players, the Aces were atrocious from the field with 37% field goal shooting and 3-6 from the free throw line in the final overtime period was the winning margin of Cone’s team. Without LA Tenorio for much of the extension periods because he was suffering from both cramps and the effects of a stomach flu, the Aces crumbled.

Mahirap yung kalagayan namin,” said a disappointed Tenorio as he exited the locker room. “Hindi pa naman tapos pero napakahirap. Sana mag-respond kami sa next game.”

B-Meg 92Yap James 24, Barroca 22, Raymundo 14, Pingris 10, De Vance 9, Maierhofer 5, Urbiztondo 2, Ferriols 2, Reavis 2, Yap Roger 2.

Alaska 89Tenorio 28, Baguio 17, Reyes 14, Thoss 13, Baracael 7, Custodio 4, dela Cruz 4, Eman 2, Salamat 0, Sotto 0.


Here's The Battle of the Necktie Brigade Part 1: The Big Mo

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