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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals: Breaking down B-Meg’s Game One win

Breaking down B-Meg’s Game One win
by rick olivares pic by brosi gonzales

I’m trying to build a case here. This isn’t a recap or detailed analysis. I have been away from the PBA for the whole conference and am still getting back in the groove. I’ve caught some matches on television but nothing compares to watching the games live. Anyways, I’ll try and work on some theories here especially one I have been trying to track down with Tim Cone’s teams.

The Phoenix Suns teams of Mike D’Antoni made its ‘seven-seconds-or-less’ offense forever a part of basketball lexicon. While it’s not ‘Moneyball’ as that pertains to a different aspect of baseball, I think it’s all about getting the easiest shots and points possible. Now when I look at a Tim Cone-coached team, what I look for is its adherence to the prescribed system and the management of the shot clock. Efficiency if you will.

Theoretically, a basketball team has five opportunities in a 24-second shot clock.

The first six seconds are usually off the fastbreak where the percentages are higher.

The next six are of lower percentages because the defense is better set.

In the next six (18 seconds), the percentages are better because this is when an offensive team should pick apart the defense with its set plays.

The next three seconds are still good because the designated scorer should have the ball in his hands.

The last three seconds, the percentages plummet because this is what you call the desperation shot.

I tried to track Game One of the Commissioner’s Cup Finals between B-Meg and Talk ‘N Text and here’s what I came up with the Llamados. Of course, there’s room for some error here (as I will try to perfect this tracking) but it’s almost accurate.

I know B-Meg scored 88 points but there were eight points where I was unable to record the time on the shot clock. In the official stat sheet, B-Meg was noted to have taken 77 attempts. My count has it at 81 so obviously I might have missed something here. Again, I am not saying that the official stats are wrong. I am trying to build a case and will try to perfect my data gathering.

Nevertheless, based on the data, it does jibe with the 24-second shot clock theory. And….. B-Meg shot 49.4% from the field. And the Llamados scored 14 points from the fastbreak and 10 second chance points – a couple that came off tip ins and putbacks.


  1. Rick , simply put BMEG won because TNT missed about 65% of FThrows awarded to them! If I got it right , TNT missed at least 20 of around 30+ FTs! Bmeg won by less than 10 points !So that's the story for TNT . I'm sure Coach Chot and his players are sulking about that since last night!

  2. Missed free throws are part of the game. And if you read what I wrote correctly, I am trying to make a case also for the management of the 24-second shot clock and better shot selection. Of course the free throws were part of the culprit. I even tweeted about that. I thought that BMeg managed their shots more efficiently. READ THE PIECE PROPERLY.

  3. I read your piece PROPERLY !
    You have your theory and I respect that! Now , I also have a simple theory and that's my case as a coach: TNT missed too many FTs that cost them Game 1 and that's the area that hurt big time!
    Your statistics are not sufficient to make any solid conclusion! Stats from a game doesn't support accurate conclusions. Any Stat 101 student would know that!
    I rest my case!

  4. @Anonymous tell your team to practice shooting freethrows instead of bitching around here. The article is about the theory and not why/how BMeg won or TnT lost.

    1. Apparently he has poor reading comprehension. I bumped into Coach Tim before he entered the SMart Araneta Coliseum and he said that he found it fascinating. He first read of this in a NBA article a long time ago and this is the first time that he saw another sports writer do this but in an unofficial way. Will speak to Coach again on this matter.