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.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Looking at the upcoming Ateneo-La Salle All-Star Game

Ateneo Blue Eagles:
Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Nonoy Baclao (Petron), Rico Villanueva and JC Intal (Barangay Ginebra), Larry Fonacier, Rich Alvarez, Japeth Aguilar, and Magnum Membrere (Talk ‘N Text), LA Tenorio, Paolo Bugia, Wesley Gonzales, and Eric Salamat (Alaska), and Doug Kramer (Powerade).

Of these 13 players, the only former Blue Eagles contributing to their squads (aside from getting playing time) are Al-Hussaini, Villanueva, Intal, Fonacier, Aguilar, Tenorio, and Kramer.

Al-Hussaini has continued to be a scoring force in the pros but his defense is still suspect. When it moves him, he can get up high and block some shots.

Noy Baclao in my opinion has to change clubs or else his career will soon be over and he will be the third Blue Eagle outside Alex Araneta and Rich Alvarez to be the top overall pick to have a mediocre if not poor career. Japeth Aguilar is another top pick but he still has a ways to go.

Rico Villanueva is not the player he was when he was in Red Bull. Sure he’s played well the past two years for Ginebra but he really has to change his offense some if he wants to remain a starter.

JC Intal… just when he was developing into a force a few years ago, he was once more sidelined with an injury. Consistency is a problem. He can score huge one night and put up only a bucket or two the next. If he played with a little more desire to stuff that ball on everyone he’d be unstoppable.

Larry Fonacier has found a home with Talk ‘N Text. Although he won Rookie of the Year with Red Bull several years ago, it is with TNT where he has been able to showcase what he can really do. One of the smartest players in the league.

LA Tenorio… in the midst of a subpar season after being well on his way as the best point guard in the league. With Alaska sinking deeper into the mire that has allowed Jason Castro and Alex Cabagnot to take that mantle from him.

Paolo Bugia… Mr. Quality Minutes for Alaska. What he needs is more playing time. Really a four-spot player rather than a five but he doesn’t rebound as well. But he owns a nifty jumpshot.

Doug Kramer. Perhaps of all the Blue Eagles in the pros, he is one guy who really worked hard to be where he’s at right now. No plays are called for him but what he adds for his teams is pure heart and hustle.

I wonder how Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Wesley Gonzales are after their respective injuries.

La Salle Green Archers:
Joseph Yeo and Carlo Sharma (Petron), Mac Cardona (Meralco), Willy Wilson, Mike Cortez, and Rico Maierhofer (Barangay Ginebra), Renren Ritualo and Brian Ilad (Shopinas), TY Tang and Ryan Araña (Rain or Shine), Jerwin Gaco (B-Meg), JV Casio (Powerade), and Don Allado (Barako Bull).

There’s another – JR Aquino (Shopinas) but he isn’t listed.

For these Green Archers in the pros, the only ones who figure to be a huge part of their respective pro team’s efforts are Yeo, Wilson, Cortez, Araña, Casio, and Allado. Maierhofer was huge for B-Meg but his playing time steadily dropped (why I am not sure but he does deserve the playing time). Ritualo started out well for Shopinas but disappeared after four games or so.

Joseph Yeo… from a player on Petron’s trading block he has become a great complimentary player for his team. Plus, he’s more than capable of hitting that big shot.

Yeo, isn’t the only one capable of hitting the big shot for the Green Archers in the pros. There’s Mac Cardona who has become a scoring force in the PBA. But I still think that he’d do better with a point guard who looks to pass first than take his own shot.

Willy Wilson has got to be one of the best utility men and smartest players in the league. He has no plays called for him as well but he finds different ways to contribute.

Mike Cortez has found a home with Barangay Ginebra. After several stops, he’s become an integral player to the cause of the Kings. Still very good despite playing on a pair of bum knees. But great instincts!

Ryan Araña has turned himself into a surprise star with Rain or Shine. With their great scorers in Paul Lee, Ronjay Buenafe, and Jeff Chan, he’s found a way to make big shots and big stops. Tough player.

JV Casio is finally buying into the system of Bo Perasol and has emerged as a force alongside Gary David and Marcio Lassiter. Watch out because he will an even bigger player for Powerade.

Don Allado’s play with Barako Bull in the past conference shows that he still has plenty of game in him. He’s kept himself in superb shape and that jumpshot of his makes him valuable.

Will this game be a hotly contested one? Maybe. Maybe not. But I don’t expect rough stuff. Many of these players have become friends over the years if not teammates in the pros. It will be a fun one to watch though.

Will this game be a hotly contested one? Maybe. Maybe not. But I don’t expect rough stuff. Many of these players have become friends over the years if not teammates in the pros. It will be a fun one to watch though.

Looking out for LA Tenorio to JC Intal or Japeth Aguilar for the alley-oop. Mike Cortez, TY Tang, or JV Casio to Rico Maierhofer for a slam. Larry Fonacier and Mac Cardona to guard each other. Wesley Gonzales and Ryan Araña to play D on one another. Rabeh (if he's well enough to play) go up against big bro Carlo Sharma! 

Chris Tiu should be here!!!


  1. Maybe it's time to do away with the Ateneo vs DLSU gimmick but instead combine all these players as " ADMU-DLSU PBA All Stars " then split them up into RSVets where "they" can play alongside each other as PBA pros! Enough of those" polarizing" stuff for box office purposes because these players after all have become friends or team mates in the PBA!

  2. I agree. My first reaction was, "WTF! Why?" I thought that maybe a UAAP-NCAA pro selection was better. The rivalry is good but I'd keep that to the college game. Oh, well.