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.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stags’ fiery wind up trips Ateneo

This appears in

Stags’ fiery wind up trips Ateneo
by rick olivares pic from abs-cbn

December 6, 2011
San Juan Arena

The Ateneo Blue Eagles lost their composure and ultimately the game to the San Sebastian Stags. The UAAP champions looked to bowl out the NCAA runners-up when they went up 65-53 after JP Erram knocked down a jumper from the 15-foot line with 6:06 left in the game.

But the Stags showed their resolve even without the injured Ronald Pascual who tore his ACL in their match with San Beda the previous day. SSCR responded with a 6-0 run and when Blue Eagle center Greg Slaughter and opposite number Mike Miranda got entangled inside the Ateneo lane they had Ateneo in trouble. Both players were whistled for a double foul but incredibly the referees upgraded the foul on Slaughter to a flagrant foul.

The resulting two free throws further pulled down the lead and the Blue Eagles missed their attempts from their end of the court. With 53 seconds left, Ian Sangalang hit a hook shot over Slaughter that gave San Sebastian a 70-68 lead.

Nico Salva saw his own jump hook rim out and Miranda collared the rebound. Jovit dela Cruz scored on a drive that put San Sebastian up by four 70-66 with 10.8 left.

In Ateneo’s next play, Kirk Long hit a triple that brought the lead down. San Sebastian flubbed their two free throws on the next end and Long raced back for a shot. He his a double pump three-point shot that sank. However, it was a second too late and the Stags won their second straight in the round robin semifinals of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League.

The Blue Eagles fell to 1-1 and will play San Beda on Friday for the right to play San Sebastian which has one foot inside the door of the finals with a twice-to-beat incentive.

Twice during the match, Ateneo went on a blitz where they threatened to wipe their foe for the second day running. The first run came at the 5:35 mark of the opening period following an Emman Monfort triple that made it 15-8. The second was that 12-point lead they posted in the fourth period behind Kiefer Ravena and Nico Salva.

The resilient Stags that drew huge performances not only from mainstays Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang but also from dela Cruz (11 points), Miranda (4 points and stellar defense inside the paint), and Bobby Balucanag (8 points).

It was the second time the Stags beat Ateneo this year. The first was a 73-72 nail biter where Abueva hit two clutch free throws to ice the win. During that match, SSCR held Ateneo scoreless in the final two minutes of play.

In their first meeting since, San Sebastian dropped a 15-4 bomb to close out the match.

The Stags can clinch their twice-to-beat advantage when they place University of Cebu on Friday while the Blue Eagles hope to get back on track when they play NCAA champions San Beda College also on the same day.

San Sebastian 70Abueva 20, Sangalang 18, dela Cruz 11, Balucanag 8, del Rio 5, Miranda 4, Maiquez 2, Vitug 2, Ferrer 0.

Ateneo 69Slaughter 16, Salva 13, Ravena 12, Long 9, Erram 8, Austria 6, Monfort 3, Chua 2, Golla 0, Sumalinog 0, Tiongson 0, Gonzaga 0. 

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