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, April 22, 2012

Ateneo Football League Week Three: highs and lows

AFL Week Three: Highs and lows 
by rick olivares

You know how a dropped ball can lead to a goal. How a two goal lead all of a sudden doesn’t look safe. How a team can go from not winning a single game in their maiden season to bagging its first ever pair of wins in one glorious Sunday. How a team that looked invincible all of a sudden is shaky.

Welcome to the Ateneo Football League where games are never over until they are over.

Keeping the doctors at bay
Makati Medical Center FC was in the driver’s seat 2-0 when B2002 Katipunan came storming back with a brace from Patricia Perlas. The fulltime draw meant only one thing – penalty shootout.

Both sides saved the first two spot kicks before MMC missed their penalty. Needing only to convert, B2002 Katipunan’s Perlas once more trooped to the penalty area. Minutes before the shootout, she needed some medical attention on her right foot. Taped up, she converted to give Katipunan an incredible 3-2 in PKs.

Popoys survive goalfest with Azukals
The doctors from Makati Med weren’t the only ones with that sinking feeling. The Azukals, one of several teams made up of former Ateneo Women’s varsity football players battled Popoys in a goalfest of a match. Despite missing starting goalkeeper Krissie Drilon, Azukals were able to notch the score at 4-4 when midfielder Fernando Garcia accidentally knocked the ball into his own goal that gave Popoys a 5-4 lead.

Popoys had shredded Azukals’ lackluster defending with textbook three-combination passes for goals.

Robbie Manauis took a forward pass as he raced up the right wing. Drawing an Azukals defender, he quickly crossed it to the opposite side where teammate Brie Caces was unmarked. Caces casually slotted it in past Alice de la Peña who had subbed in for Shim Cabrera at goal.

Popoys would hike their lead to 8-7 with a long volley by Franco Alvarez that de la Peña misplayed for an 8-5 goal. But the Azukals, showing their varsity pride (even if they were missing more than half their squad), came roaring back behind de la Peña who scored on a penalty to come within a draw. But the lack of a decent goalkeeper clearly hurt their chances for a win. De la Peña conducted herself well at goal but that meant one less attacking player for Azukals.

Redemption Song
On Sunday, Team Freedom was all set to change their name to Team Retirement after losing to the Puzakals and Blue Guards in succession. But extra practice, some beer during the week, and finally some attacking football saw them avenge their first round loss to Puzakals with an impressive 6-2 victory.

Led by Raffy Roa and Ebong Joson, Team Freedom’s nifty passing picked apart the Puzakals defense. Ron Poblete also added some firepower – including a volley from the right that rattled the sticks.

After the match, Martin Lichauco denied reports that Team Freedom’s name was being changed to Team Redemption.

Pic above right: Raffy Roa, one-time scoring machine for Ateneo in the UAAP still shows he's got the moves. Below, many goalkeepers put in spectacular performances over the weekend.

It’s a long drive back to Bicol for Juan Sanz
In a battle of undefeated teams in the 31 and Above Division, Loyola Agila served up a clinic in passing and finishing as they rocked Juan Sanz S.J. 4-0 with Blue Avelino scoring a hat trick. Right from the beginning, Juan Sanz, the team made up of mostly Ateneo de Naga alums (some who drive all the way from Naga to Manila – it’s an eight hour drive from Manila) were on the defensive as Loyola moved the ball forward without much difficulty. After thrashing their first two foes, this time Juan Sanz was on the receiving end of a beating that perhaps affected their morale for their second match of the days against Psykicks.

In their first round encounter, Juan Sanz scored a 7-2 victory. This time, with Migs de Leon handling the coaching chores in the absence of Glenver Gregorio, Psykicks battled back from an early one goal deficit to tie the match and later to send the match into penalty kicks following a late equalizer by Oscar Santillan.

Psykicks make AFL history...
Psykicks pulled off the incredible by beating skidding Juan Sanz 4-3 in the penalty shootout. Earlier, Psykicks piped hard luck Danke Schon 3-2 with the game winner coming from Paolo Bediones. The two wins saw Psykicks go to 2-3 while Danke Schon tumbled to the bottom winless at 0-4.

... while Caf Bench United remains undefeated
Another team that has been lording it over the Mixed Fun Group A Division is Caf Bench United that collected a pair of glittering wins over a depleted Budacamp and Ana Comm United 1. Caf Bench United is now toting a 4-0 record in the Mixed Fun Division Group A.

Above: Budacamp GK Juris Parojinog tried to stop Caf Bench United's Duane Tumale from passing the ball back inside the box. Below: with Team Freedom, the 1986 (EDSA Revolution) Ateneo High School batch team that once used to kick all the college teams' butts from every corner of Manila and beyond -- 26 years later.

Below: While many teams are formed either using their batch or barkada or even their varsity teams as the foundation, MyTunes FC is the Achacoso Family of whom several played for the Ateneo's varsity teams.

Above: Malditas and Stallion coach Ernie Nierras assisted on some goals in Loyola Agila's thrashing of Juan Sanz S.J. Below: Caf Bench United had TJ Manotoc at goal. In their two matches today, Manotoc conceded only one goal. 


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