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.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rain or Shine beats Shopinas; Yeng Guiao calls Ogie Menor "a danger in this league"

Rain or Shine checks skid while Shopinas continues inglorious slide
by rick olivares pic by brosi g

December 4, 2011
Smart Araneta Coliseum

Rain or Shine snapped out of its funk to dispatch pesky 88-81 but head coach Yeng Guiao was hardly pleased.

Thinking his team played without fire or urgency, Guiao sighed and said, “It’s just nice to break out of a losing streak. I think the guys just put out an effort enough to breakout of that losing streak. I am not really happy about that effort but a win is a win.”

With Shopinas facing the possibility of losing their 13th straight match, the Clickers came out with a lot more fire and kept the normally high octane Elasto Painters on first gear for long stretches.

The Clickers put Rain or Shine in an early 22-9 hole behind the sniping of RJ Jazul and inside play of James Sena and Elmer Espiritu. As the Elasto Painters slowly cut into the lead behind Jervy Cruz and JR Quiñahan, the afternoon’s first skirmish between Shopinas’ Ogie Menor and the ROS team came with 1:07 left to play in the first period when a Ryan Araña forearm on Menor’s nape during a rebound play saw the two players confront each other.  

Just a few minutes earlier, ROS rookie Paul Lee took a knee to his leg while trying to close down a drive by Menor. The rookie hotshot was taken to the hospital for X-rays and other checks that turned out to be negative for any injury.

Rain or Shine finally took the lead after Larry Rodriguez scored underneath the basket, 31-30 at the 6:04 mark of the second quarter. The Elasto Painters held the Clickers to five points on 2-16 shooting (12.5%).

The Clickers’ shooting woes were not only the record for futility they unwittingly matched. Their 0-13 start matched the 1982 Great Taste Coffeemakers’ start in the Reinforced Open Conference. That team also had in its lineup Florendo Ritualo Sr. and current Alaska head coach Joel Banal.

Shopinas currently has Florendo Ritualo Jr. in its lineup and the former De La Salle Green Archer finished with six points after a hot start to the Philippine Cup.

The record for winless finishes doesn’t however belong to that Great Taste squad that was coached by Jimmy Mariano for they finished that conference 2-16. The dubious record belongs to Country Fair that finished 0-13 in the Reinforced Open Conference of 1984. Shopinas will try to avoid owning that inglorious record when they play 9-4 B-Meg currently in third place in the ten-team standings next Thursday.

The Clickers continued to battle on after a Jojo Duncil basket at the halfway mark of the final period that saw them behind 70-73. But Rain or Shine pulled away behind Araña who scored 11 of his 12 points in that quarter and Ronnie Matias who added six of his own.

Contributing to the game woes of Rain or Shine was the ejection of Quiñahan in the third period after he elbowed Menor in the face in the third period. The Clickers’ Homer Se was also thrown out early in the match for using profane language.

Guiao couldn’t contain his disdain for what he believes in the dirty play of Menor. Said the Rain or Shine coach: It’s just a pity that guys like Menor are able to wreak havoc on players who just like to play a good game and I thought it was done on purpose (the knee to Lee) and he’s done it to other players in this league. He really is a danger in this league.”

In the two team’s previous encounter last November 4 that saw ROS handily beat the rookie team 96-75, Guiao was ejected from the game after he shoved Menor who celebrated in from the Elasto Painters’ bench after he made a basket.

Menor, who celebrated his birthday on the day of Shopinas’ rematch with Rain or Shine, expressed surprise at Guiao’s comments. Said the former San Beda Red Lion: “Hindi naman ako naninira. Yung kay Araña, sa rebound play yun at ako pa ang tinamaan. Kung maglaro kasi ako all-out. Pero hindi ako nananadya manakit.”

Charlie Dy, who manages Menor, added in his ward’s defense: “I don’t think he plays dirty. He just plays hard all the time and he has a strong build so when people collide with him, it hurts.”

Rain or Shine 88 - Chan 14, Arana 12, Quinahan 12, Matias 9, Norwood 9, Cruz 7, Tang 7, Belga 7, Rodriguez 7, Buenafe 4, Lee 0, Ibanes 0.

Shopinas 81 - Duncil 23, Jazul 17, Sena 11, Hubalde 9, Espiritu 7, Ritualo 6, Menor 4, Sison 2, Daa 2, Escobal 0, Aquino 0, Se 0.

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