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, January 18, 2012

The mad bounce: La Salle draws with UST 1-1 in UAAP Men's Football

The mad bounce: La Salle draws with UST 1-1
by rick olivares

January 18, 2012
Ocampo Field, Ateneo de Manila

A team can be flawless for much of the game. They can dominate possession. Rain shots on an opponent’s goal that it wouldn’t take long before the referee upgrades the match conditions to Signal #3.

But one mistake. One… can be fatal.

The University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers are considered top contenders for the UAAP Season 74 Men’s Football title. In their first match of the season, they clearly outplayed FEU and fired away at will at the Tamaraws’ goal (yet they only won by 1-nil).

Against De La Salle University, they dominated possession for much of the first half with Christian de Juan and Ken Parao nearly finding the back of the net for UST in the 14th minute. In the final seconds of the two minutes added time of the first half, the Tigers were whistled for a foul inside the box.

As DLSU right back Greggy Yang got ready for his spot kick, the UST coaching staff led by Marjo Allado sat in stunned and disbelieving silence.

“Don’t get cocky,” yelled La Salle coach Hans Smit to Yang.

But incredibly, Yang did a stutter step to distract UST keeper Mon Borigas but seemed to be more concerned with his fancy steps than the shot he was about to take. His blast to the right was low and lacking in power. Borigas guessed right.

Allado heaved a sigh of relief while Smit recited a litany of expletives. “Didn’t I just tell you not to get cocky?” he thundered as some of his players consoled Yang.

In the second half, La Salle began to pressure UST and in the 51st minute, the normally dependable Ronald Batisla-Ong headed a high ball back to Borigas. His header was short and Green Archer striker Mateo Yuhico quickly pounced on the ball to blast it into the net. 1-nil La Salle.

Batisla-Ong sat in dismay and covered his head with his shirt. Allado and company sat in mute silence for the second time during the game.

The momentum shift was instantaneous as UST quickly conceded two free kicks and one corner. Allado shuffled his players bringing in Fidel Kue for de Juan, Peter Ricamora for Ronnel Lagrimas, John Caballero for Parao, and Noel Francisco for Joel Bones.

But UST was still unable to get into the final third of La Salle’s side of the field. An air of desperation descended upon UST as players repeatedly botched passes and had to back pedal as La Salle probed dangerously on the counter attack.

With five minutes left in the game, Tigers’ striker Ojay Clarino who up to that point had not contributed much to his side’s effort took a pass from midfielder Shirmar Felongco. All game long he had been unable to get any decent shot in. In that one instance, the La Salle defenders surprisingly gave him space from some 25 yards out on the right wing. Finally seeing daylight, Clarino fired away straight to the La Salle goal. DLSU keeper Patrick Deyto steeled himself to catch the ball with his body firmly squared for the stop.

Except the ball hit his forearm and spun above his head for the unlikely equalizer.

The coaching staffs of each side sat is disbelief.

With time waning and two minutes of added time, the momentum swung one final time to UST. But La Salle held on for a 1-1 draw.

“We’re lucky to come away with a point,” said a relieved and drained Allado who remained seated on the bench.

“One mistake,” rued Smit. “Two mistakes,” he corrected himself suddenly remembering the missed penalty shot. “I hope the boys learn from this. At least we have a point. But it’s the same as last year as we drew again with UST.”

“One mistake…” he muttered taking a puff out of his cigarette.

La Salle Green Archers

Yang    Patag    Suleiman    Nierras

Alquiros    Diamante     Borromeo    Talento

Rabaya    Yuhico

Clarino    De Juan

Palacio    Lagrimas    Felongco    Parao

Bolo    Regis    Batisla-Ong    Bones

UST Growling Tigers


In other UAAP Men's Football results: UP in a scoreless draw with FEU and Ateneo defeated UE 1-0 with the Blue Booters' Miko Mabanag scoring on a PK after a foul by UE keeper Robert Martos.

1 comment:

  1. thank you for the article Rick...go tigers! go UAAP! GO PILIPINAS FUTBOL!!!