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

San Sebastian wrests the PCCL crown from Ateneo

This appears in

San Sebastian wrests the PCCL crown from Ateneo
by rick olivares

December 15, 2011
San Juan Arena
The San Sebastian Stags inflicted upon the Ateneo Blue Eagles, the pain they have been dishing out on foes in the past four years. The NCCA runners-up repeatedly attacked Ateneo’s interior then made them pay from the outside when they closed the lane.

The formula worked and by the time the four-time UAAP champions played zone and attacked the Stags’ inside, time had run out.

San Sebastian then successfully wrested the Philippine Collegiate Champions league title with a 73-67 win over Ateneo making them the first NCAA team to win the crown. Ateneo, erstwhile back-to-back titlists and winners of three of the last five national cage championships, lost their first championship in the four title games they played this season. The Blue Eagles won the Filoil Premier Cup, the UAAP, and the University Games.

Ian Sangalang, adjudged Most Valuable Player of the tournament, scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to help the Stags dominate the match. Ateneo last led at 16-14 behind eight consecutive points by graduating point guard Emman Monfort but SSCR’s Calvin Abueva responded with five straight points to put the Stags up 17-16 after the first quarter.

The Stags started the second quarter with a 13-0 run that effectively gave them control of the match. They repeatedly attacked the interior of the Blue Eagles with Abueva leading the way and scattered the lane defenders in blue like fallen tenpins.

It was only late in the game when the Blue Eagles ceased their sniping from the outside to also attack San Sebastian from the inside. It immediately paid dividends for Ateneo as they came back to within four, 67-71 with 1:09 to play. But the Blue Eagles missed all their final attempts from the field while the Stags added two more points from the free throw line for the final tally.

In the midst of the Ateneans’ searing rally, the Stags’ comebacking Jonathan Semira, who has been out for months following an ACL tear, and Abueva, hit back-to-back treys to stymie the late charge.

The Stags’ absolute domination of the boards, 54-33, likewise gave them 12-second chance points.

“I began to doubt my coaching abilities,” relayed winning coach Topex Robinson outside the team’s dugout. “This was very sweet because we had faced adversity all year long. This is a nice way to end the year and it makes for a very Merry Christmas. But I am proud of the way we came out since we took the title from a great champion. And we did it without Ronald Pascual. It was also a nice send away gift for Jon Semira who along with Anthony del Rio have played their last games for San Sebastian.

The title game was also the last in blue and white for forward Kirk Long and Raymond Austria and point guard Emman Monfort.

The Blue Eagles also rued the loss but nevertheless celebrated the great year they’ve had. “It’s been a long season,” said Ateneo head coach Norman Black inside the Ateneo dugout. “We started out in Filoil then the Fr. Martin’s Cup (where they reached the semifinals), then we went to the United States for training before coming back for the UAAP. We also won the UniGames while others played in the D-League and the others with the SEA Games team. It would have been good to win another championship but we can’t win it all the time. It has been a good season for Ateneo basketball.”

Named to the 2011 PCCL Mythical Five were the University of Cebu’s Junmar Fajardo, Ateneo’s Nico Salva and Greg Slaughter, and San Sebastian’s Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang.

San Sebastian 73Abueva 20, Sangalang 19, Del Rio 10, Vitug 9, Miranda 6, Maiquez 4, Semira 3, Dela Cruz 2.

Ateneo 67Long 11, Tiongson 11, Slaughter 10, Erram 9, Monfort 8, Ravena 7, Salva 5, Sumalinog 3, Gonzaga 3, Golla 0, Chua 0, Austria 0.

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