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.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ateneo Football League semifinals

Blue Guards' Ver Velasco saves the shot of Puzakals' Melvin Viceral during the two teams' shootout. Velasco saved three consecutive spots kicks beginning with Albert Villareal's, Viceral's shot, and lastly from Jao Pajaro.

Good day. Bad day.
by rick olivares

Quite a few players from different teams said that Sunday was a day to forget as the Boston Celtics, Manny Pacquiao, and their AFL teams lost.

Dochie Gorospe wasn’t one of them. In fact, his team won and advanced to the finals. Gorospe sat on his foldable chair and shook his head. Blue Guards had just advanced past a difficult Puzakals squad, 4-3 in penalty kicks thanks to some terrific net minding by Ver Velasco who stopped three consecutive spot kicks. Gorospe’s Oscariz team narrowly avoided a penalty shootout of their own when they scored with two minutes left in the game to end Team Freedom’s bid to make the finals. Last year’s high school jubilarians missed Ebong Joson, Ron Poblete, and Aris Ladaw – their three best offensive players outside Raffy Roa and Glenn Reyes – and that told heavily on their fortunes.

Thus the number one seed (Blue Guards) will be facing the number two seed (Oscariz) for the Seniors Division championship in the second season of the Ateneo Football League. Gorospe’s pained look notwithstanding. His teammate, Raul Banzon, on the other hand, relished the match up. “At least we don’t have to worry about playing a team that is younger than us,” quipped Banzon.

Not all the favorites emerged unscathed. Los Tontos was undefeated in the 30-and-Below Division while Caf Bench likewise entered the Mixed Fun semis with an unblemished record. By afternoon’s end, Ramrod and Team Popoys had respectively ousted the two.

Los Tontos defeated Ramrod, 4-3, during the elimination round, but in this elimination match, the latter club, drew first blood with a pair of goals from Gab Siojo that was followed by a superb strike from Gerard Cancio. Los Tontos got back in the match when stud forward Roger Lastimado scored four goals including a spectacular bicycle kick to keep the match close. Gino Tongson restored the advantage to Ramrod when he controlled James Arco’s well-placed cross before whirling for a shot where keeper Miguel Villadolid had no chance.

With Ramrod holding a 4-3 lead and time running out, Raul Grapilon’s long range volley dipped into the far post to send the match into penalties. However, in the sudden death shootout, Tongson who switched to keeper successfully saved a shot and converted the winning penalty to send his team into next week’s finals.

A third semifinals match, this one also from the Alumni 30-and-under division, saw Boj Kohouty knock out Gaffer, 2-1, in PKs to set up a meeting with Ramrod for the title.

In the Mixed Division battles, Caf Bench and Budacamp, both number one and two in Group A, were dispatched by their Group B counterparts Team Popoys and ACU2 when they suffered a scoring drought in the worst possible time.

Budacamp scored an amazing 51 goals to lead all 16 teams in the Division. But against ACU2, they were missing a few key players and they paid for it as they were crushed 7-2.

Caf Bench scored the third most number of goals with 33 but this time around managed only one by Duane Tumale while Popoys’ Miguel Hernandez scored a brace with Miggy Ramos adding the insurance goal. It was painful for Caf Bench as they conceded the fewest number of goals with six as TJ Manotoc did a fantastic job tending the net. Caf Bench finished third for the second consecutive year.

In the 31-and-Above Division, Randy Roxas, Club President of UFL Division One Team, resurrected former glory when he scored a brace to lead Loyola Agila past Juan Sanz, 5-4, in a hotly contested match that saw six players cautioned. Roxas said he woke up after getting elbowed in the face and he proceeded to give as well as he got including a pair of goals. Agila, the defending champions in their division will be facing Cojones which easily brushed aside Psykicks that made their best ever finish in the AFL, 3-0.

In the High School-College Division, Aria, the only other defending champion to book a finals seat, will face The FC in the finals. Aria was led by Cocoy Marcelino’s four goals as well as Leandro Fabregas’ hat trick in leading their side to an 11-1 win over hapless WHY FC. The FC got past Bacchus, 3-1, to set up their finals match. 


The second season of the Ateneo Football League is brought to you by Poten-Cee, Smart, and Nike. Forty-four teams. Some 800 football players.

Loyola Agila's Randy Roxas takes a free kick as Juan Sanz' wall flinches.

Who knew he could be good at goal? Gino Tongson scored a spectacular goal as a field player then minded the net for Ramrod during the penalty shootout. He not only stopped a shot but he also scored the winning spot kick.

Aria FC, one of two defending champion teams to make the finals of their division got a hat trick from Leandro Fabregas (in blue wearing #33), son of actor Jaime Fabregas. The son also plays for the college's UAAP team.

Loyola Agila's opponent in the finals will be Team Cojones. Paolo Cagalingan (in blue) tries to win a high ball as goal keeper Chito Ines looks on.

AFL Week One 

AFL Week Two

AFL Week Three

AFL Week Four

AFL Week Five

AFL Week Six

1 comment:

  1. @Rick Olivarez, just a question Budacamp was missing key players when they were defeated by ACU 2? Like who? Robbie De Vera and Alvin Perez were there.