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.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ateneo Football League Week 5: Kings of the Hills (Blue Guards & Cojones make a statement)

Blue Guards' Ver Velasco (in yellow vest) rises to attempt to punch out a chip by Team Freedom's Aris Ladaw (#13 in blue). Velasco who led Ateneo & UP to titles during his playing days kept a clean sheet as Blue Guards masterfully shut down Freedom's Ebong Joson.

Kings of the Hill
by rick olivares

Referee Allan Martinez turned. He was officiating the match between Budacamp and Ana Com United 1 in the adjacent field when Bert Honasan entered the match for Blue Guards at the 15th minute. “Gagawa yan si Bert,” prophesized the veteran referee. I laughed out loud and told him to mind his game.

GOAL!!! Bert Honasan takes a pass from Dodie King and begins to turn and fire.
Honasan had come in for Butch Ledesma at forward. He took a cross from Dodie King, controlled the ball with his right foot then in one motion, turned and blasted the ball using his left foot past Team Freedom keeper George Samaco for the first goal of the match.

Martinez let out a cry of euphoria as if he had scored the goal. Martinez had watched Honasan from his days in UP all the way to the commercial leagues and as head coach of Ateneo’s nascent UAAP football program. I laughingly chided him to mind his game.

Two minutes later, Honasan took a perfect throughball, dribbled once but to gain a better position and for control before blasting another shot that beat Samaco.

Right before Honasan’s entry, Blue Guards’ threw a 2-2-1-1 formation at Freedom. The defensive alignment saw Freedom’s midfielders unable to properly bring the ball forward. The defensive bottleneck saw Blue Guards launch one meticulous counter attack after another. Were it not for Samaco’s outstanding goaltending, Freedom would have been blown out of the match early on.

Blue Guards’ expertly marshaled their defense and attack with goalkeeper Ver Velasco calling out instructions to his teammates.

Freedom was not without their chances. Ron Poblete, Aris Ladaw, and Joson had their shots but Velasco was able to turn them back. With the match close to fulltime, defender Manny Concio joined the attack but Blue Guards held for the 2-0 win snapping Freedom’s two match win streak.

It was a well played match, perhaps the best technically played match of the tournament with both squads launching textbook attacks and counters while playing terrific defense that had many other AFL teams (outside referee Martinez) watching the match.

In the other seniors match, Oscariz/Thunder defeated Puzakals 3-1 thanks to a brace from Dochie Gorospe and a strike from Raul Albarece (my cousin Chito Caluag minded the net for the winners).

In the 31-and above division, Cojones seized the top of their own group with a 3-2 win in penalties over skidding Loyola Agila. The aggressively playing Cojones took a 3-1 lead but Agila, with recent addition Robbie Rivera leading the charge, came roaring back to level the match right before fulltime to send the game into penalties.

Once in the shootout, Cojones goalkeeper Chito Ines, already making a bid as the best netminder of his division stopped Mike Hernandez’ shot to put pressure on Loyola and goalkeeper Paul Arcenas. Arcenas nearly stopped one but was unable to keep the ball from spiraling in. Cojones swept the elimination round series against defending champion Loyola that has yet to parade its full roster since opening day.

Agila earned a split of the day’s matches as they defeated Danke Schon in an 8-5 shootout.

The PK shootout between Cojones and Agila wasn’t the only one that day. ACU3 and Proctor & Gamble battled to a thrilling 3-3 draw. Once in penalties, both squads had missed its share of shots with ACU scoffing consecutive shots while P&G also blew consecutive shots by sending the ball high and wide.

ACU3’s Glaiza Artus, who had a sterling stint with FEU during her UAAP days and women’s futsal national team, was superb at goal as she turned back three shots and scored the winning penalty shot for a 7-6 win.

P&G, a mix of several intercompany teams, salvaged the day with a 5-1 win over short-handed Human Beings.

In another Mixed Fun Division match, former Ateneo UAAP stalwart Alvin Perez scored a hat trick to lead Budacamp 3-0 past ACU1.

Next week is the last for the elimination round before the semifinals weekend games of the second season of the AFL.

The Ateneo Football League is brought to you by Poten-Cee, Nike, and Smart.

ANNOUNCEMENT: All AFL members have a 30% discount from Mizuno (only at the main branch at Magallanes Business Center). Just present your ID as we have sent the rosters to Mizuno where they will crosscheck your name.

The 31-and above division leading Team Cojones.
Loyola Agila has been struggling not just on the field but also to put a full lineup on match day. The defending champions earned a split of the day's games with an 8-5 victory of luckless Danke Schon. Ernie Nierras scored a brace to go along with Pilo Torres' hat trick.

1 comment:

  1. where can you see the rankings for the AFL after last weekend's games. cant seem to find it in the afl website. thanks.