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.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

UAAP Season 74 Men's Football Tournament Opening Day

UAAP Season 74 
Men's Football Tournament 
Opening Day January 14, 2012
by rick olivares

Ateneo High School Field, ADMU -- The La Salle Green Archers began their UAAP Men’s Football campaign… by falling flat. “We didn’t have our trademark intensity,” lamented head coach Hans Smit. “We had our chances but we didn’t get the job done. I’m going to say that we only performed 50% to our capability.”

The Green Archers, who won the University Games football title last October, dominated possession but the University of the East Red Warriors had more shots on goal including what could have been the game winner with seconds to play.

Hitting DLSU with a quick counter, Johnson Arboleda hit John Cesar Llaguno with a throughball in centerfield that threaded the Taft’s squad high defensive line. Llaguno in turn found midfielder Reggie Gomez on the overlap from the left wing forcing La Salle keeper Patrick Deyto to come out and meet him head on. The UE rookie attempted a volley towards the second post but instead, his shot hit the side of the net thus ending the first game of Season 74 in a scoreless draw.

Option 1: Yang to Alquiros who races forward then sends the cross to strikers Don Rabaya or Mateo Yuhico.

Option 2: Alquiros, depending on what the defense gives him will either pass back to Yang or cut to the middle where he will draw a defender. He will try to find Rabaya on the through ball.

Option 3: Yang to Kaman Suleiman who will try to find Rabaya or Yuhico up front or swing to the side of Hector Ian Borromeo who links up for the attack.

It was a disappointing finish to what was a promising start. With right wing Nathan Alquiros repeatedly making runs and plays (with support from behind by Greggy Yang), the green and white seemed well on their way to scoring a bunch of goals. They ran Options 1 and 2 repeatedly to great success in the game’s first 20 minutes but mysteriously did not go back to it. UE had no answer to that but I will credit a lot to the heads up play of UE keeper Robert Martos stymied the attacks.

Said new UE head coach Jerome Orcullo, who was a former national player, “Mas maganda sana ipapakita ng mga bata pero ang hirap kasi na wala kaming field. Nakiki-practice lang kami. Pero no excuses. Laban lang.”

Man of the Match for DLSU: Nathan Alquiros. Greats runs up the right wing. Excellent crosses and good decision making.

Man of the Match for UE: Johnson Arboleda. Great skills and vision. Knows what to do with that damn ball.

In the second game, the freshman-laden Far Eastern University Tamaraws should the promise of things to come with their excellent passing game but the veteran University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers utilized their experience and smarts to hack out a 1-0 win.

FEU’s senior squad reinforced by six graduates from its champion juniors squad, never let UST get on their attacking half of the field for the first five minutes of the game. UST, who I likened to a diesel engine last year for their propensity to start slow (they were a second half team), then turned matters around in the 24th minute when an Ojay Clarino strike missed by inches.

Once UST’s midfield of Ronnel Lagrimas and Shirmar Felongco (who both play for Pachanga in the UFL) controlled the middle third, the Growling Tigers began to shred FEU’s defense. In the 43rd minute, Lagrimas danced around an FEU defender before expertly laying the ball off for attacking midfielder Christian de Juan who fired past keeper Jestoni Celeste.

UST could have easily tacked on four or five more goals but their finishing left much to be desired.

Their defense, playing without the graduated David Basa, held last year’s scoring sensation -- not named Jinggoy Valmayor – Jon Melliza with only one decent shot on goal.

FEU’s a darkhorse team.  At first glance they are not tall. But they can sure defend. They may not win it this year but watch out for them next year. They will kick some serious butt.

Man of the Match for UST: Ojay Clarino. He didn’t score, but he was such a threat on offense that he drew several defenders and repeatedly set up teammates for chances. Now, if he finished better…

Man of the Match for FEU: Saekyoul Lee. This Korean kid is frigging amazing. Playing central midfield, he showed great playmaking abilities and decision making for a rookie. His completion rate for passes was astounding. He didn’t commit an error! And I was keeping tabs on him the whole game.

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