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.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

On that press statement about Jong Uichico leaving Ginebra

On that press statement about Jong Uichico leaving Ginebra
by rick olivares

I was reading a statement released yesterday by Ginebra San Miguel Inc. that said that former head coach Jong Uichico is moving from the Kings to the Philippine Men’s Basketball National Team. GSMI President Bernie Marquez lamented the departure of Uichico but also wished him well in his new endeavor.

Uichico won six titles with San Miguel and two with Ginebra. He was also a part of the Northern Consolidated Cement squad that was bankrolled by Danding Cojuangco back in the 1980s. That means he was with Mr. Cojuangco’s group for about three decades (maybe even more). That’s even longer than many marriages last.

I cocked an eyebrow ala Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is disbelief (because there is an air of mystery and curiosity). Without asking the pertinent parties for the whys and wherefores, these are the thoughts that came to mind.

First is, why cannot coaches who work for other corporations work together for the national team? Didn’t Uichico assist Yeng Guiao on the Powerade-backed Philippine Team? Maybe it’s one of those instances where a person is pirated. We’ve seen that once to often. Maybe that’s the case here but I’m thinking that you’re giving up a long relationship to go – in the words of a PBA insider – “to the other camp”?

Having said that, the second thought is, just what the heck happened? Did it have something to do with Uichico being “demoted” – for lack of a better term to an assistant? Does that ever sit well with anyone? One day yours is the voice that everyone listens to then the next your slapping hands while sitting on the bench. Sure there’s Jorge Gallent and Caloy Garcia who’ve had to endure that but I do not see Yeng Guiao, Tim Cone, or even Chot Reyes sitting next to another head coach (unless it is the national team). What is the common denominator among the last three coaches I named – they have all won championships. Well, so has Jong. But it is also the season for leaving. Cone left Alaska after 22 years of service. Well, so has Jong.

Inside the pressroom, we threw theories around left and right and well (including Uichico’s not taking the head coaching job of La Salle), we think there’s more to the statement than meets the eye. I am also curious with the timing of this press release as it came on the eve of Game Four of the semifinals series between defending champion Talk ‘N Text and Petron Blaze (that the Boosters won to go up 3-1 in their match up). It’s like Alex Rodriguez talking about his free agency during the World Series matchup between the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies. 

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