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.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Five things I told my dad after the Ateneo-FEU game

Five things I told my dad after the Ateneo-FEU game
by rick olivares

Enough of La Salle, the real rivalry in the last decade has been Ateneo-FEU.
There are only eight schools in the UAAP and at one time or another, rivalries will break out. They aren’t exclusive to traditional rivals. It’s easy to say UE versus FEU or Ateneo versus La Salle as they are either bound by geography or history. In the 1990s, it was actually La Salle and UST as they constantly played one another in the finals.

Ateneo has had a long and tempestuous relationship with FEU. When the Blue Eagles were gunning for a three-peat in 1989, it was the Tamaraws under Johnny Abbarientos and Vic Pablo that nailed the final coffin on Ateneo with a devastating second round defeat at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum. Ten years later, Ateneo had the twice-to-beat advantage over FEU in the Final Four but the Tams took it in two straight. In 2003, when the boys in blue were going for a back-to-back, Arwind Santos and company stopped them cold.

In 2009, the Tamaraws had built a strong team with Mark Barroca, Reil Cervantes, Aldrech Ramos, Mac Baracael, Paul Sanga and company but Paul Lee and the UE Red Warriors sent them packing.

The following season, the Tamaraws swept the elimination round series against Ateneo but come the finals, they were thoroughly routed. The two teams also met in the Champions League, the Fr. Martin Cup and University Games finals of that year. Each time, the Blue Eagles came out winners. The next year, FEU was undefeated in FilOIl play and Ateneo sent them packing in the quarterfinals en route to the title. And just this summer, it was the same – Ateneo ousted an undefeated FEU team.

The acrimony has spilled on to the board and the football pitch.

That’s it in a nutshell but in between there have been incidents, words, accusations, claims etc.

Mixed Martial Arts or boxing should be added to the sports calendar of the UAAP.
In fact, make those sports mandatory. After watching FEU play like San Sebastian, I am not sure I went to a basketball game or a skit right out of the Three Stooges. It’s one thing to play physical, a sure fire way to disrupt a finesse team but to throw punches and hurl body fluids is well… I leave it to you to fill in the blanks.

In the first round match between FEU and NU, the Bringas brothers (you can throw in Carl Cruz into the mix) tried to get into Emmanuel Mbe’s head prompting the latter to retaliate. The brothers also followed the Cameroonian all the way to the tunnel at the Araneta Coliseum to see if they could exact their pound of flesh. With the game all but wrapped up for NU, Ray Parks went up to me (I was seated at near the row reserved for the UAAP board members) and said, “Pardon my language but those #@!*)#&> don’t deserve to win!” The reigning league MVP was downright pissed.

I am surprised that one of their coaches was eager to pick a fight.
For a while, I thought I was watching San Sebastian try to bludgeon San Beda into submission. Only this game was in the UAAP.

The Bringas brothers, college basketball’s version of The Bruise Brothers (Alaska’s Ricky Relosa and Yoyoy Villamin once upon a time), were in their best behavior in the first round Ateneo-FEU encounter. This time around, well, it seemed as if they wanted to make up for lost opportunity. It’s a bloody shame because both a terrific basketball players. I remember Coach Bert Flores calling out Arvie Bringas to stop the extra-curricular activity in a previous match because they needed him in the game and perhaps the next one.

However, it wasn’t just the two. There were others and some from an unlikely source.

In the final minute of play, if you were at the Mall of Asia Arena you will have noticed assistant coach Ronald Magtulis (Incidentally one of my fave players of FEU during his time) was staring down at Ateneo’s bench and mumbling some words their way. When the final buzzer sounded and the two teams went towards each other for the post-game handshake, I was surprised that he went to Ateneo assistant Sandy Arespacochaga to pick a fight.

Ronald Magtulis (to Sandy Arespacochaga): #&@#!!!0
Sandy Arespacochaga (to Ronald Magtulis): Pare, wag naman ganyan.
Nico Salva (to Ronald Magtulis): Sabihin mo sa mga player mo na ayusin nila laro nila.
Ronald Magtulis to Nico Salva: Ganyan talaga ang basketbol. Ganyan talaga.

I am shocked that FEU officials have allowed this to happen. The Tamaraws have never been known to be a dirty team until this season. Is that any surprise that the Bringas Brothers are like the Brothers of Destruction? Now that spitting episode cost you a game against – NU.

The last time I saw two coaches try to get to each other was two years ago during a FilOil match between Letran and San Beda. It was so shocking that then Red Lions head coach Frankie Lim, who is never one to back down from a confrontation, played the peacemaker.

Now why the post-match incident happened I will never understand. Whoever was wrong, the coaches must draw the line and rein everyone in. Not exacerbate matters.

I too am shocked that the referees have let go so much. I am not in favor of ticky tacky calls (and with these refs you never know what you are getting) but does rough and dirty play equate to manhood? Maybe UAAP, it’s time to introduce MMA or boxing in the list of annual sports.

Dude that kind of style went out with Isiah Thomas and his Detroit Pistons’ dirty play. And Thomas didn’t make the Dream Team.

I wonder if the battle cry is, “If you can’t beat them, beat them up.”

JP Erram and Juami Tiongson are currently my students!
Proud teach! In my Journalism class in Ateneo, the two of them (Erram and Tiongson) constantly participate and voice out their thoughts and opinions on the variety of subjects that we discuss. Many would think that the jocks would be timid in class. But not so in mine. In fact, I try to maintain a highly interactive class. So it is now surprise for me that the two of them have stepped up and made significant contributions to the team.

I followed the Blue Eagles all the way to Roxas City in last year’s University Games and it was the two who really lead the way. I even wrote about those games!

My dad said, “Don’t let up on them in class.”

Hahaha. I won’t. But I doubt they will slack off.

And lastly, dad, there’s no substitute to watching the games live.
We caught the replay of the match on television last night and well, it looked quiet, sanitized, and well, tame. The cameras caught a few things but not everything that went on. If you talk to the media photographers who sat on the sidelines, they will tell you that they saw every punch, elbow, knee, and then some.

I think I got a preview of tomorrow (Friday’s) One Fighting Championship.


  1. Even the last five of FEU seemed to have only one thing in mind: to put a hurt on the nearest ADMU player. Even Pogoy who was already done for the night, I swear, wanted to take a swing at Tiongson when he came close to the FEU bench.

    I'm seriously thinking of calling them the Thug-araws going forward.

  2. On the other side of the fence, a lot of people are crying luto because 1) FEU had more fouls and 2) Slaughter was not called for a technical when he shoved Bringas

    At least this makes things clearer

    1. These guys complain all the time about not having fouls called on them. But how is that possible when they keep shooting from the outside? They need to learn a little more logic.

    2. Una pa ngang na penalty ang ADMU sa 4th Quarter, FEU pang-isa pa lang.

    3. They also have to consider that we have a 7foot wall, and the only way for them to get passed it is to go through it. You can thank Romeo for the drop in fouls in the 4th, he was taking some really dumb outside shots when RR was wide open. That kid really lacks maturity.

    4. Slaughter didn't shove Bringas. He bumped him, yes, but it appeared to be a flop by Bringas more than anything else.

    5. Slaughter could not push this guy out in rebound situations but when he nudges him with an elbow he drops like he was nit by a truck? Kudos in fact are due to the refs who didn't fall for this.

      Clearly FEU just wanted to shake Ateneo from it's usual discipline by using physical play. And when that failed they took it a level higher to DIRTY play. I guess the spit was just plan C.

  3. I heard that the Bringas spitting incident was due to Justin Chua saying something to him. Is this true?

    1. Could be because chua was tasked to him at some point, but that's beside the point.

  4. It seems that the only answer FEU and UST have come up with to the question of how to defeat a team is to use intimidation and physicality instead of just playing the game better. I believe the officiating sent the wrong signals early on in the season and some took their cue from there, the easy way out to solve the problem of how to win.

    1. Why include UST? they just play tough basketball unlike dirty FEU.. Takot ka ba for ateneo or u dont know what playoff basketball is all about?!!

  5. Pido was in Ginebra. So was Magtulis? Small wonder they still carry the Ginebra "Never say Die" (corollary: If you can't win, kill the other, lol) tactic?

    Ang kinasama ng loob nito ni Arvie eh, bakit yong unang dalawang flops bumenta sa refs? Yon huling dead-ball na kumpleto naman sa acting at tumba, eh hindi? Ayun, nandura tuloy, lol.

  6. Rick, any news on the possible suspension of Buenafe against DLSU? Boom kept mentioning it during the broadcast, but there was no definitive pronouncement. Just want to add that FEU has been playing Ateneo dirty for a couple of years now (I distinctly remember the Cawaling elbow 2 years ago, and ever since I've been noticing it more and more). Quite a shame, really, considering that Mark Molina and Richie Ticzon are Ateneans.

    As regards the game, though, if Juami can keep hitting those trifectas, I don't think anyone can stop Ateneo. NB finally utilized Kiefer as the de facto point guard, his natural position. Juami brings up the ball, Kiefer sets up the offense. We didn't see much of that last year, and even during the first round this year, but the last 2 games showed why Ravena is highly regarded among basketball purists.

    Some more thoughts: Romeo and Garcia has that Westbrook-Durant dynamic. Which leads me to this: 2 of Ateneo's main rivals this season don't know who their best players are. Or at least their respective coaches don't. RR is better than Romeo but Bert Flores favors the latter (which actually don't make much sense; why not just let RR play point since he's more unselfish? Well, that's their problem). Meanwhile, UST's best player is Jeric Teng (at least before the injury) but Pido prefers Fortuna and Mariano in the clutch.

  7. i respect sir rick a lot. and he had every reason to raise a howl on how tams arvie bringas, mark bringas, mark belo, and roger pogoy played dirty. but so did some players from ateneo. one of whom is his student.

  8. I can't blame FEU, basketball is a physical sport. It has been that way ever since. It has been the "gigil" of the players that eats them up. Wonder how Ateneo blew fast FEU late in the game? Maturity issues again. Still, Ateneo with their system can beat any collegiate team in the country night in and night out.