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, December 16, 2011

Cabagnot catapults Petron to a one-nil series lead over Meralco

Cabagnot catapults Petron to a one-nil series lead over Meralco
by rick olivares pic by brosi gonzales 

December 16, 2011
Smart Araneta Coliseum

Petron Blaze broke away from a close match when Alex Cabagnot and company buried Meralco with an avalanche of the spectacular. Following a 68-all tie, the Boosters point guard dropped a pair of four-point plays first off the Bolts’ Chico Lanete then Chris Timberlake for a 76-68 lead with 6:26 to play.

A flurry of baskets by either side later, Denok Miranda then hit a trey and then a more conventional three-point play to make it 86-75 with time down to 3:45. That lead was good enough buffer to allow Petron to book a 91-84 win to take Game One of the Best-of-Three series with their corporate rival.

Much was made between an earlier trash talking incident between Cabagnot and Meralco counterpart Sol Mercado something that Petron head coach Ato Agustin found amusing. “Nasa gawa yung salita,” he smirked outside the team dugout.

The Blaze Boosters had to suffer a terrible shooting period for the most part of the game but their gunners began to find the range during crunch time thanks to Agustin’s point guard. “Alex always takes charge,” marveled the second-year pro head coach. “Dinadala niya yung team namin. He can defend. He can score. He can pass.”

Cabagnot didn’t have a particularly good game for the first three quarters as he only had four markers to his name. But when it mattered the most, the Fil-Am from Hawaii delivered quite a haymaker.

The stat line of the second over-all pick of the 2005 PBA Draft had 14 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, and one steal across his name. “Hindi na ako nagugulat sa mga ginagawa niya,” added center Danny Ildefonso who chipped in four points and six rebounds. “Swerte kami na meron kaming player na kaya makapag-score kapag gipitan na.”

Blaze Booster forward Arwind Santos got the better of Meralco opposite Gabby Espinas as he notched another double double of 19 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, and four steals. Espinas had 13 points for the Bolts to go with three rebounds and three assists.

“It’s a big game for us and taking the first game puts us in a good position to move forward,” said Cabagnot after the match. “For sure Meralco will make their adjustments but so will we.”

Meralco struggled to get a big game out of forward Mac Cardona who scattered 12 points but he wasn’t his usual livewire self.

Petron 91Santos 19, Lutz 18, Cabagnot 14, Reyes 12, Miranda 11, Yeo 9, Sharma 4, Ildefonso 4, Doruelo 1, Baclao 0, Tugade 0.

Meralco 84Mercado 18, Espinas 13, Cardona 12, Isip 10, Taulava 9, Yee 7, Borboran 6, Timberlake 2, Macapagal 2, Omolon 2, Hugnatan 2, Lanete 1.


My thoughts: Sol Mercado should do a better job of setting up teammates as opposed to looking for his shot. The Bolts need to get Mac Cardona untracked. If Asi Taulava didn't play so well they'd have been blown out early on. As for Rob Reyes, what a pick up for Petron. Definitely a surprise for the Boosters as well as the league. And if you ask me, his game spells trouble for Nonoy Baclao. Seek for a trade while it's early and you can still show something. Maybe to Barako, Shopinas or Powerade.

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