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 15, 2012

Ateneo Football League Week Two: Lessons to be learned after all these years

It was quite a lesson for Team Cojones against Juan Sanz. But Cojones gamely battled until fatigue set in.

Lessons to be learned after all these years
by rick olivares

The AFL returns for Day 2 & 3 and you can say that it’s like going back to school with lessons to be learned.

Lesson #1 There’s a reason why the game is seven-a-side.
Team Cojones arrived for their 2:15 game with only three players. By kick-off, there were only six of them while they played Juan Sanz with a complete line-up. Juan Sanz, named after a Spanish Jesuit priest of this pre-dominantly Ateneo de Naga team quickly pounced on Cojones with two textbook goals.

In only the third minute and off a counter, Juan Sanz’s Moses Imperial’s well-placed throughball found Dave Clavo splitting the two opposing central backs and going one-on-one with Cojones keeper Chito Ines. Goal Juan Sanz.

Three minutes later, Imperial doubled his team’s tally with a header off a free kick.

In spite of being in a 2-0 hole, Cojones exposed Juan Sanz’ vulnerability of the counter even with only six men. Rden Villasis constantly tested Juan Sanz’s keepers but his volleys were oft wide. But as soon as teammate Dan Geiger arrived, Cojones attacked better.

After Villasis’ close range volley was blocked the ball went out to the unmarked Ian Sermonia whose rocket from the outside pulled back one goal. Geiger equalized minutes later and both squads went to the half with the score at 2-2.

In the second half, Cojones essentially went back to playing only seven men when Mark Endaya went out with an injury (he would eventually return). In the afternoon heat, Juan Sanz made the most of having a full roster and the flying substitution, as Cojones quickly got tired. It was Ines who kept his squad in the game with some nifty goaltending. But with five minutes left in the game, Juan Sanz’ NiƱo Tuy’s throw in was perfect as playing-coach Juan Felipe Carpio headed the ball past Ines.

Less #2 Hydrate, baby. Hydrate. And practice some.
In the seniors division, opening day losers Team Freedom (the 1986 EDSA Revolution batch hence its name) and Blue Guards squared off. Blue Guards clearly learned Lesson #1 very well as they came in with some 15 players to rotate. It sure helped as they play regularly in Ateneo during weekends.

Raul Felix booted in a goal off a combination play then Omar Arabia pounced on a mistake by Freedom keeper JB Buenviaje for an early 2-0 lead.

During Freedom’s opening day match against Oscariz, last year’s jubilarian batch found themselves in a 4-1 hole but battled back to draw level just at full time. However, Freedom, despite the presence of Martin Lichauco, fell in a penalty shootout 5-4.

The problem for Freedom was they wilted in the afternoon heat. Before long, they were in a 5-0 hole as Felix added a second goal and Ricky Jacinto and Fr. Basil Onyejuwura each tallied one of their own to put their opponents in a 5-0 hole.

By the time Freedom got its regulars Mico Morelos and Glenn Reyes onto the pitch (they arrived late as well) along with Ebong Joson and Raffy Roa, their offense began to flow better. Aris Ladaw salvaged a measure of pride for Freedom when his volley off a quick turn beat Blue Guards keeper Ver Velasco.

Quipped Freedom’s Manny Concio, “Kaya tayo talo… walang Starbucks.”

Added Renzo Belardo, “Basta mas masaya kami kesyo sa kanila pag-inuman.”

Closed out Ebong Joson: “Tara, practice tayo this week!”

Blue Guards paid tribute to Freedom with a post-match cheer led by Dodie King.

The lessons here? Hydrate before the game. Not during the game. Bring plenty of water to the games. And do practice. Time is not kind to the human body.

Lesson #3 Good things come to those who wait.
During the maiden AFL season, Oscariz, now renamed OFC Thunders, finished fifth in their division and even had one match defaulted. This year, with AFL experience and the backing of telecoms giant Smart, they are now undefeated and are 2-0 in the seniors division after pulverizing the Puzakals 7-1.

Dochie Goropse scored four goals and had one assist while Raul Banzon scored on an incredible run where he caught their opponents flat-footed before booting one home for his side’s second goal.

Said Gorospe (although I am not sure if he was serious or joking), “Last year we came into the AFL with the wrong attitude (matatanda na mga to meron pa rin attitude problem – hahaha joke lang ha?). This year, we’re motivated."

Malaking pasasalamat kay James Bernas, I’d say.


Other stuff: Caf Bench is for real. They are now 2-0. And I think that the goalkeeper for one of the Ana Com United team’s is damn good. When Loyola Agila's Red Avelino scores a hat trick they're going to win.

Here's the Week One highlights.

1 comment:

  1. "And I think that the goalkeeper for one of the Ana Com United team’s is damn good."

    curious!!! ;)