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, December 30, 2012

My sports awards for 2012: NBA, UFL, PBA, NCAA, UAAP etc

Boxer of the Year: Nonito Donaire
He went 4-4 for 2012 and has been the best boxer not named Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr. It is about time that he be given the focus he deserves.

Basketball Player of the Year: LeBron James
He is now truly the king and the best basketball player in the world. And he can play every single position with aplomb.

Golf Player of the Year: Rory McIlroy
No flash in the pan. He is for real. The heir to Tiger Woods (I once thought it was Sergio Garcia).

Athlete of the Year: Usain Bolt
Ain't nobody gonna catch this man. 

Football Player of the Year: Lionel Messi
By the time his career is over, he will be mentioned in the same breath as Pele and Diego Maradona. He will permanently be there is he wins with Argentina.

My football games of the year:

Manchester City winning the Premier League title on their final day with United looking on. For sheer drama and importance this one is the best. Sometimes I wonder if this really did happen. But a 3-2 comeback against a spirited Queens Park Rangers in extra time gave the club their first title in 44 years.

Down 2-1, the match went into extra time where Edin Dzeko then at death’s door, Sergio Aguero scored to make it 3-2 to pip cross city rivals United that had moments earlier beaten Sunderland, 1-0. City and United drew on wins and points but the former took home the title on goal difference. Fitting though because City trounced United the past season.

The UFL Cup Finals between Global and Stallion. It isn’t very often that Global finds themselves down a goal. Against a vastly improved Stallion squad that had gotten better every year since its promotion the previous season, they found themselves down after a beauty of a finish by Ruben Doctora Jr. Izzo El Habbib equalized later before Rufo Sanchez, perhaps the single biggest pick up by any UFL team in its recent history, scored the marginal goal as Stallion broke the Global-Air Force stranglehold on club titles.

Honorable mention:
The final day of the UFL League as Kaya won over Green Archers United while Loyola drew with Global. But Global took the title on goal difference.

Loyola vs. Geylang United, Singapore Cup
For sheer guts and verve, Loyola never gave up to win and advance in the competition.

My International Football XI for 2012:

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)

Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)   Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)  Jordi Alba (Valencia/Barcelona)

Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)   Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)  Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)   Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)  Rob van Persie (Arsenal/Manchester United)   Neymar (Santos)

Reserves: Manuel Neuer (GK, Bayern Munich), Vincent Kompany (D, Manchester City), Mats Humels (D, Borussia Dortmund), Pepe (D, Real Madrid), Xavi (M, Barcelona), Bastian Schweinsteiger (M, Bayern Munich), Cesc Fabregas (M, Barcelona), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (F, AC Milan, Paris St. Germain), Luis Suarez (F, Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (F, Manchester United), and Radamel Falcao (F, Atletico Madrid).

Coach: Pep Guardiola

My UFL Starting XI for 2012:

Saba Sadeghi (Kaya)

Jerry Barbaso (Global)   Joaco Cañas (Stallion)   Val Kama (Global)

Anto Gonzales (Loyola)   Yu Hoshide (Global)   Mark Hartmann (Loyola)   Patrick Reichelt (Global)

Rufo Sanchez (Stallion)   Phil Younghusband (Loyola)   Izzo El Habbib (Global)

Wilson Muñoz (GK, Stallion), Roxy Dorlas (D, Loyola), Yves Ashime (D, Pachanga), Byeong Yeol Jeong (M, Loyola), Phil Connolly (M, Nomads), Marwin Angeles (M, Global), Jeffrey Christiaens (M, Global), Jonah Romero (M, Kaya), Masood Shahdideh (F, Pasargad), Tating Pasilan (F, Green Archers United), and Alex Obiang (F, Global).

Player of the Year: Phil Younghusband (Loyola)
Forward of the Year: Phil Younghusband (Loyola)
Defensive Player of the Year: Jerry Barbaso (Global)
Midfielder of the Year: Patrick Reichelt (Global)
Newcomer of the Year: Rufo Sanchez (Stallion)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Roland Sadia (Global)
Coach of the Year: Ernie Nierras/ Dr. Eu Hyung Pe (Stallion)

Best players not on the national team: Tating Pasilan (Green Archers United), Mark Hartmann (Loyola), Patrick Deyto (Green Archers United), Ruben Doctora Jr. (Stallion), Jon Melliza (Green Archers United), and Jerry Barbaso (Global).

MVP: LeBron James

Starting Five: Dwight Howard (C, Orlando/Los Angeles Lakers), Tim Duncan (F, San Antonio), LeBron James (F, Miami), Kobe Bryant (G, Los Angeles Lakers), and Tony Parker (G, San Antonio)
Bench: Marc Gasol (C, Memphis), Kevin Durant (F, Oklahoma), Serge Ibaka (F, Oklahoma), Carmelo Anthony (F, New York), Kevin Love (F, Minnesota), Russell Westbrook (G, Oklahoma), Dwyane Wade (G, Miami)
Coach: Greg Popovich

Local Basketball:
College Basketball Player of the Year: Calvin Abueva (San Sebastian)

NCAA Starting Five:
Ian Sangalang (C, San Sebastian), Calvin Abueva (F, San Sebastian), Jake Pascual (San Beda) Kevin Alas (G, Letran), Baser Amer (G, San Beda)
Sixth Man: Earl Scottie Thompson (G, Perpetual Help)

Coach: Aric del Rosario

Greg Slaughter (C, Ateneo), Jeron Teng (F, La Salle), Bobby Ray Parks (F, NU), Kiefer Ravena (G, Ateneo), Jeric Fortuna (UST)
Sixth Man: Aljon Mariano (F, UST)

Coach: Norman Black (AdMU)

Pro Basketball Player of the Year: Jeff Chan (Rain or Shine)

PBA Starting Five:
Ranidel De Ocampo (C, Talk 'N Text), Arwind Santos (F, Petron), Jeff Chan (F, Rain or Shine), James Yap (G, B-Meg/San Mig Coffee), JV Casio (G, Powerade/Alaska)
Sixth Man: Mark Caguioa (G, Ginebra)

Coach: Yeng Guiao

More Awards: The 2012 Brewskies: villains and infamous moments in sports

And I agree with Sports Illustrated. LeBron James is also my Sportsman of the Year.

If you are looking to buy this issue of Sports Illustrated, it's now available at Fully Booked. Not many copies left. It fetches for Php 499.