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, April 30, 2012

Ateneo Football League Week Four: For the upset-minded


Juan Sanz FC started out the AFL Season 2 like a house on fire. But in their last four matches they are 1-3.

Ateneo Football League Week Four: For the upset-minded
by rick olivares

Week Four of the Ateneo Football League was marked by upsets and muscle-flexing.

Blue Guards finally showed up with a complete lineup with Eric Ingles and Bert Honasan in uniform. Up against a hopelessly overmatched Puzakals, Blue Guards, with its bevy of former national players, went on to win by a lopsided score that the final tally has been lost to memory (sorry, I forgot the score).

Team Redemption, er, Freedom, has finally found its form when it came back from an early one goal deficit to pip previously undefeated Oscariz, 2-1. After James Bernas opened the scoring for Oscariz to take a 1-nil lead at the half, Team Freedom seized control of the midfield to take the fight to the division leaders.

Ron Poblete equalized for Freedom with the goal of the tournament thus far as he scored on a fabulous bicycle kick from inside the box. In an attempt to retake the lead, Oscariz committed more players to the attack and found themselves a victim of a quick counter where Raffy Roa found himself with one defender to beat. One nifty sidestep later, Roa, one-time UAAP Golden Boot winner, blasted a shot of which Oscariz’ keeper had no chance of stopping. With Manny Concio anchoring Freedom’s defense, Oscariz was repeatedly turned back until full time.

In the ultra-competitive 31-and-above Division, Team Cojones dealt also erstwhile undefeated Loyola Agila a beguiling 4-3 win. Agila began the game by testing Cojones keeper Chito Ines with brothers Blue and Red Avelino taking shots from either side of the goal. Cojones’ Paolo Aquino and John Diego traded goals with Agila’s Pilo Torres and Dominic Samson before Dan Geiger booted in the winning goal. Agila, tested for the first time all season, fell apart in the second half when Cojones controlled the midfield.

Joel Villarino was like a shot of adrenaline for Psykicks as he greatly improved their midfield play. Here he kicks in the afterburners to take the ball away from Loyola's Dominic Samson. Note Psykicks' Celine Lopez moving up from the left. Villarino would deliver a well-placed cross for a goal by Lopez. Villarino should play the wing for Pasargad as they do not have anyone like him. Hahaha.

Things didn’t look too well once more for Agila in their second match of the day as upset-minded Psykicks, bolstered by the addition of Ateneo and Pasargad coach Joel Villarino, kept them on their heels. 

Early in the first half, Villarino beat Samson in the middle to send Loyola scurrying back. With a defender closing him on the right wing, Villarino sent a well-placed cross inside the box to a waiting Celine Lopez who volleyed it past keeper Paul Arcenas.

After Loyola equalized early in the second half, Psykicks committed a mistake by using Villarino as a forward. Lacking the playmaker in the middle, Psykicks fell apart as Loyola quickly took over the match. Villarino had two magnificent opportunities to score two goals but a little indecision here and there allowed the defense of Loyola to take shape. Agila split their games with a 6-1 win with goals coming from Joey Prats, Samson, Blue Avelino, Pilo Torres, and Angelo Gonzales.

In the most lopsided match of the day, ACU3 thrashed Human Beings 18-1. Juan Sanz defeated Danke Schon 5-2, ACU2 outlasted B2002 Katipunan 3-2. B2002 Katipunan also split their day’s matches with a 4-3 win over Popoys.



Analyzing the Global-Pasargad match


Analyzing the Global-Pasargad match
by rick olivares

Even without key players and their head coach, Global still had a potent squad on the field. The surprise package that Pasargad unveiled against Loyola days earlier meant that they would not find Global napping.

The first 20 minutes of the match saw both teams struggle for form and control of the ball. Yet almost from the get go, Pasargad’s weakness was obvious. The lack of effective wing play meant that Pasargad funneled the ball through the midfield where they hoped that a perfectly placed through ball by Hamed Ohadi would send Shayan Jafaridastjerdi going up against Jerome Sylvain Etoundi who has filled in magnificently for the injured Paolo Pascual. It worked as Etoundi tripped up Shayan for a penalty shot.

Soroush Zalmoo beat Etoundi but referee Emmanuel Elloso correctly whistled Ohadi for encroachment. Zalmoo’s second penalty shot totally lack conviction as it spun away wide. The miss was huge as instead of putting Pasargad up both teams were even and Global had dodged a bullet. And that changed the game plan for Global.

Once Global simply bottled up the midfield of Pasargad with Valentine Kama disrupting the flow of the ball, their offense began to hum.

The forward pass from left back David Basa to Misagh Bahadoran wasn’t there and the ball moved to central midfield where Alex Obiang fed Bahadoran for a beautiful series of moves to beat five red shirts for the first goal (Izzo El Habbib pounced on the rebound of Bahadoran’s shot). Later, Obiang found Patrick Reichelt on the right wing who unloaded a wicked shot that beat Abdollah Golkhah.

Obiang was later rewarded for his hard work when El Habbib found him with a cross and a goal. Reichelt closed out the scoring with a corner shot that Golkhah misplayed.

At one point while doing the television analysis with anchor Aaron Atayde, I noted that Pasargad, in an effort to pull back a goal from a two-goal deficit, they only left one defender in the back. I remember saying that on a quick counter, they were going to get burned. And one cue, Global launched one and scored.

In their next play, Pasargad left three defenders. But the damage had been done.

One of Global’s strengths is their wing play and speed; something that is wholly lacking in Pasargad’s arsenal. For sure they upgraded their offense but the lack of wing play with crossed making life easier for their forwards, hurts them.

Pasargad is a work in process and will no doubt upgrade. But Global, now on their eighth straight win (while scoring 27 goals in the process) look like the hot favorites to win it all. And to think that they do not have a complete lineup just yet.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's so cool to be a part of nba.com Philippines



With NBA superstar Luc Longley and the Bulletin's Tina Maralit and Coach Jude Roque.

I have to thank my dad for bringing me to a couple of Golden State Warriors games. And then there was my grandfather who rooted for the Philadelphia 76ers and passed on to me not just a love for baseball but also basketball. Those are treasured memories that I always look fondly back on.

As a kid, I read Stars and Stripes, the New York Times, and Sports Illustrated to catch up on things NBA. With not much material available back here in the Philippines, I read the columns of Quinito Henson and Henry Liao. I would cut out their columns on the NBA and put them in a binder along with all the other NBA info I could get my hands on. Later on, when Mr. Liao asked me to contribute to Tower Sports NBA, I was stoked! Imagine that.

I watched NBA on GMA and frequented the house of my classmate, Gary Villanueva, who had a treasure trove of videotapes of NBA games and All-Star Games. I mangled copies of SI in the Ateneo library (I am sorry!!!!) for pics of Dr. J and Larry Bird. 

While abroad, I watched as many NBA games as I could. With my workplace two blocks away from the NBA headquarters along Fifth Avenue, I was a frequent visitor of the NBA Store. One time, they even put on display all of Michael Jordan’s championship rings and paraphernalia and from a die-hard Chicago Bulls fan, that was nirvana for a day. I'd go to Rucker Park to watch hoops and I'd ball at West 4th, this chinky-eyed Flip (as they called Filipinos) attempting lob passes to these cats who would defy gravity. The first time I successfully threw up one for a slam, I nearly ran to the sideline to place a call to my friend Gino to tell him of what I've done. To rebound for Manu Ginobili at the Continental Airlines Arena was and will always remain priceless.

I was never supposed to come back to the Philippines. But I did on vacation. And so I stayed and had to eventually seek out work and by default, I became a writer. I found it amusing that when I applied for the marketing manager position at Solar Sports (yes, I did get it), my old classmate Ralph Roy wondered aloud, “Don’t you write?” Well, I did, for the Guidon and occasionally contributed to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. But I always thought of myself as an advertising man. When I did leave Solar to go freelance, I have to admit that was a huge gamble because it was freelance what -- writing? What the heck did I know?

And yet it all worked out. Since I returned, I have been writing about the Ateneo Blue Eagles for ateneo.edu and I have to admit that Atenean audience really helped me advance a writing career so much that I went back into public relations. Back in my early advertising days, I would oft be asked to also do extra work with our PR department for a variety of clients (mostly political that caused me to cringe conjuring shit for all these corrupt bastards). Why they asked me to do that I have no clue to this day. I figure they thought that I could do it. But I have digressed.

Career? I used to stalk Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada outside the comic book giant’s Park Avenue offices. I also once attended a workshop given by the New York Times. Each time I hoped and hoped and hoped some more to get in. However, it is a dog-eat-dog industry and Lady Luck never smiled on me. I do have though, a letter from the Times' great columnist George Vescey about a column I wrote and one he complimented as "one that could have only been written by a New Yorker." Priceless. 

But since there’s been Business Mirror (yes, there’s that indie feel), Maxim, Philippines Free Press, Men’s Health, Rebound (the success story out of the Sportsnation class I had), the Guidon (a second time around as adviser for the sports staff), interkasyon, Football Philippines, and a bunch of others. Because of this, I've been able to interview players and coaches from Real Madrid and Liverpool. I've been able to cover Smart Gilas in its infancy.  To be granted all access to the Alaska Aces locker room. To cover the Ateneo Blue Eagles like no one else has done before. And now, there’s nba.com Philippines.

My dad was once a prominent figure in the local music scene and every time he would come out in the papers or on television, we would get a copy and tape his appearances. Little did I know I'd get a taste of it as well. I keep copies of every publication and then some where I contribute. I’m on my sixth year of writing professionally and I still get the same kick out of seeing something of mine printed or read by others. To read a press release and see my name in there, it’s like, ‘Hey, am I not the one who usually sends out this stuff? And now I’m in there.” I must have done something good in my life. And I never fail to offer a prayer of thanks because all of these things are fantastic blessings for someone like me.

I feel giddy and sometimes, I stop myself to exclaim, “Holy, cats, how did I get this done?” And now to chip in a weekly column at nba.com Philippines alongside guys like Quinito Henson and Bill Velasco – all I can say, “Holy, cats, dad. Can you believe this?” I'm at a launch of nba.com Philippines not as a journo but as someone who is a part of the site. I'm standing next to Luc Longley (I got his autograph a long time ago in Chicago) and he's saying, "Good luck writing about the NBA, mate." I wish I still had my poster where I got the entire '95-'96 Bulls team to sign on. I lost that during Ondoy along with much of my life's savings and collections. But move on I have to more blessings.

Now after I finish my long-delayed book ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’, I’ve got two more writing gigs that I hope to tick off my bucket list and that’s to write for the New York Times and Marvel Comics. It sounds far-fetched. But who knows? Nba.com and my other gigs never seemed likely seven years ago.

I’m still under the table and dreaming.

From the column of Quinito Henson in the Philippine Star.

Sean Anthony and I became friends during the early days of Smart Gilas Pilipinas. During his rookie year in the PBA, I had a chat with him about holding on to his confidence and working hard. Glad to see where he's at now. Sean will also be contributing to the nba.com Philippines.



Best interviews with NBA players I've done: Manu Ginobili (in New Jersey); LeBron James, Darius Miles, Kevin Garnett and Steve Nash (in New York); Hedo Turkoglu and Keyon Dooling (in Macau); Chris Webber, Gilbert Arenas, Gary Payton, Glen Rice, BJ Armstrong, AC Green, Vlade Divac, and Dominique Wilkins (in Manila). 

Bleachers' Brew #308 Chicago Hope (without Derrick Rose)?

This appears in the Monday, April 30, 2012 edition of the Business Mirror.

Chicago Hope?
by rick olivares pic by dennis wierzbicki

When Derrick Rose fell to the floor with a little over a minute to play in Game One of the first round NBA playoff series between the Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers, I put my hands over my head in horror. Watching Rose writhe in pain while clutching his knee, I knew that he tore up his anterior cruciate ligament.

The Bulls won the match but the aftermath was the polar opposite. I could only imagine the pall of gloom that descended upon the Bulls’ locker room. It’s one thing for a team to win without their superstar during the regular season but the playoffs are all together another creature. The Bulls know that with a healthy Rose, they have a chance to win the NBA title. And now, well, deflated as the team and their fans are, they all cling to the saying that while there’s life, there’s hope.

The bright side for the Bulls is that they gallantly played 27 matches (they went 18-9) without Rose during the regular season so the adjustment without him will not be that much difficult. But how far they go is anyone’s guess for the playoffs are where the superstars step up their game by a notch or more and teams adjust better during the course of the series.

What’s left of Chicago’s depth chart at point -- CJ Watson, John Lucas III, and journeyman Mike James – have to play above themselves. Should the Bulls still beat Philadelphia, they’ll most likely face the Boston Celtics who will be more than a handful with Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen at guard. And if they still make it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals where everyone and their mother have pegged the Miami Heat to go, well, there’s Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers, and Mike Miller (although they use LeBron James as a point forward from time to time).

The Bulls will need plenty of help. Rip Hamilton has to turn back the hands of time to recall his sniper days from Detroit. Kyle Korver has to be this edition’s John Paxson and Steve Kerr. Luol Deng, the sole remnant of the Bulls teams of the mid-2000s revival (when they had Ben Gordon, Andres Nocioni, Kirk Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas, and Chris Duhon), has to lead this team. Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson, and Omer Asik have to bump, thump, and score inside.

Listening to NBA analysts post-Game One, the consensus is the Bulls are done. They might get past the Sixers but anything else is a run of Memphis and Golden State proportions (of their recent playoff successes). On the other hand, history has not been kind to basketball teams that lose their star players in the playoffs.

During the 1998-99 post-season, the New York Knicks were making hey in a league without Michael Jordan when center Patrick Ewing suffered an Achilles tendon injury in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals against long-time nemesis Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers. The Knicks, with Larry Johnson, Marcus Camby, Latrell Sprewell, Allan Houston, and Kurt Thomas had enough to beat the Pacers in six matches. However, once they got into the Finals, their smaller frontline made for easy pickings by the San Antonio Spurs Twin Towers of David Robinson and Tim Duncan.

During the 2008-09 season, the Houston Rockets were in the midst of a great season where they finished second in the Midwest Division with a 53-29 record; one game behind the first place San Antonio Spurs.

Behind center Yao Ming, they defeated the Portland Trailblazers in six games to earn the right to face the Los Angeles Lakers who not only topped the Pacific Division but also had the league’s best record that year with 65 wins and 17 loses. Houston beat the Lakers at the Staples Center in Game One. However, Yao injured his left foot in Game Three as the Lakers took a 2-1 series lead. The Chinese center would later be diagnosed with a career-threatening hairline fracture on his foot (and he would be out in two years) but the Rockets used their teammate’s injury as a rallying point to send the series to a seventh and deciding game. But the Lakers eventually prevailed 89-70.

Since Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau made a name for himself as an assistant coach to Glenn Rivers with the Celtics where he masterminded their punishing defense, he has been praised for his coaching chops. In fact, he was last season’s Coach of the Year.

This year with Rose in and out of the lineup, he has done an even better job (considering the crazy schedule that has really hurt teams with injuries and not enough recovery). But sans Rose from hereon, this is where we really get to see whether Thibodeau, the defensive whiz, is also a miracle worker.

-------------

I was thinking, "This could be the year of the Bulls." And I thought that bringing in Rip Hamilton was huge. And then Mike James. Both came from the Detroit Pistons. In a deja vu moment, I remembered how the 1995-96 Bulls team had two former Detroit Pistons in Dennis Rodman and John Salley. Oh, well...

Friday, April 27, 2012

National Invitational Youth Football Tournament


Rambling about the Capitals, Old time hockey and Slap Shot


Rambling about the Capitals, Old time hockey and Slap Shot
by rick olivares photo by john mcdonnell

Let me ramble...... as I watched the Washington Capitals bounce the erstwhile defending champions Boston Bruins from the playoffs in a 2-1 overtime Game Seven Win, I looked at center Matt Hendricks (who scored the Caps’ first goal) and goal keeper Braden Holtby celebrate.

I remember when Hendricks came over from the Colorado Avalanche stating a desire to be reunited with his former coach Bruce Boudreau who was sacked this season. And then there was Holtby who was the third string goalkeeper behind Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov at that time.

They both played well with Holtby stopping 31 shots by the Bruins.

It was a spellbinding series to say the least. Four game went into overtime and each one was sudden death, decided by one goal. I watched Game Seven in my Alex Ovechkin jersey never mind if the summer heat had turned my room into a sauna.

Hold that thought, word. “Spellbinding”.

After the game, I decided to go on a hockey night where I pulled out the DVD of the HBO 24/7 Penguins/Capitals and that old time hockey classic, Slap Shot. And that took me a ways back when I used to play rollerblade hockey as a kid and when I hung the Sports Illustrated cover of Pat LaFontaine on my bedside wall (next to Paulina Porizkova) and dreamt of playing for the New York Islanders.

When I saw the HBO 24/7 Penguins/Capitals there was a scene where the Pittsburgh team took the bus and the music that was playing was Maxine Nightingale’s “Right Back Where We Started From” and I thought that was a great homage to Slap Shot with the fictional Charlestown Chiefs on a roadtrip.

Any movie with the great Paul Newman is something I have to watch (his character of Rooney in Road to Perdition was awesome).

It was difficult to watch American sports on local television and the best bet was to catch the US Armed Forces television at the former Clark Air Base (named for the late US Army Signal Corps Major Harold Clark – I remember that because I used to oft go there – my grandfather was an US Army vet – to watch those F-4 Phantoms & F-5 Tigers take off, baseball and one time, Billy Joel during an USO Show).

Occasionally they would show an Islanders game because they were in the midst of their four-straight Stanley Cup win streak. And then there were the Edmonton Oilers with Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, and Paul Coffey to name a few. What a great time for a hockey fan – Stanley Cups in the media capital of the world in New York then the Great One comes from the Great White North. And when Gretzky moved from Edmonton to Los Angeles – what news it made.

But Slap Shot… what a movie.

The opening sequence where Jim Carr interviews Denis Lemieux is hilarious.



Jim Carr: Hi, Jim Carr again. Denis, I know that some in our audience don't know the finer points of hockey. Could you tell them, for example, what is icing?
Denis Lemieux: Well, um, icing happen when the puck come down, bang you know, before the other guys you know. Nobody there, you know. My arms goes up and then the game stop then start up.
Carr: I see. What is high-sticking?
Lemieux: High-sticking happen when the guy take the stick, you know, and he go like that. [demonstrates on Jim Carr] You know? You don't do that.
Carr: You don't do that?
Lemieux: Oh no, never, never.
Carr: Why not?
Lemieux: Against the rules. You know, you're stupid when you do that. Just some English pig with no brains, you know.
Carr: Uh, what is slashing?
Lemieux: Slashing is um, like that.
[demonstrates on Jim Carr]
Lemieux: You know.
Carr: Mm-hmm. And there's a penalty for that?
Lemieux: Yeah and for the trip also, you know like that
[demonstrates] And for hook like this [demonstrates]. And for spear, you know, like that. [demonstrates] You do that, you go to the box, you know. Two minutes, by yourself, you know and you feel shame, you know. And then you get free.

I watched the film again for probably the 30th time and like National Lampoon’s Animal House, it still brought many a laugh to me that my dog began to bark at me (he thought that I had lost it like the Hanson Brothers).


Thursday, April 26, 2012

PBA Finals Game Two: Breaking down B-Meg's 24-second shot clock


Breaking down B-Meg’s 24-Second Shot Clock
Part 2
by rick olivares pics by brosi gonzales

Before I break down B-Meg’s shot clock management, here are some of my thoughts on Game Two.

For the most part, it seemed like Chot Reyes was getting out-coached by Tim Cone. TNT didn’t seem to have an answer for the point forward of Joe DeVance who brought up the ball and gave James Yap and PJ Simon some freedom to move and choose their spots.

There was a stretch in the fourth period when Yap scored to make it 97-92 with a little over two to play. I thought there was a bad call on DeVance that allowed Kelly Williams to make two free throws to cut down the lead.

Then it was perhaps the most important play of the game that helped TNT steal this game. With 1:31 left, Jason Castro sliced down the middle of the lane for a fearless and gutsy layup for a 96-99 score still in favor of B-Meg.

During the timeout that preceded Castro’s trey, Reyes told him to create the play. In order to defend Castro who had drove in numerous times, Cone brought in Jonas Villanueva. While not as speedy as Josh Urbiztondo or Mark Barroca Villanueva, theoretically – there’s that word again -- is not easy to get around. But not when Castro is playing well above the three-point arc. Castro hit that deadeye trey for a 100-99 lead.

But given the lead, TNT kept giving B-Meg an opportunity to either equalize or comeback. Donnel Harvey, who played incredibly well, and Williams missed four straight free throws. The Llamados on the other hand, misplayed shots (Yap) or threw the ball away (Denzel Bowles who seemed fatigued in the end).

As Cone put it, they allowed TNT to steal this when they had it. Now this is a best-of-five series.

Prior to the match, I bumped into Coach Tim at the parking lot and he said that he read the piece I wrote about the 24-second shot clock management theory. This was something we discussed some time ago but never got to verify given a lot of matters. I tried it out in Game One and you all saw the breakdown of their shot clock. Coach Tim said the first time he read it was in an NBA article a long time ago. My piece, which he found “fascinating that I wanted to comment” (his words) was the first since that ages-old piece where there was an attempt to break it down based on a team’s game plan.

If you missed the first part, here’s the theoretically, a basketball team has five opportunities in a 24-second shot clock.

The first six seconds are usually off the fastbreak or the quick putback 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.

Like I said, it is a theory and a work in progress. By no means does this tell the complete story of why a team won or lost. What it does though is paint a picture of how they manage their shots.

According to Coach Tim, even during his time in Alaska, the coaches would talk about this but not at great length. Even with B-Meg, it has been discussed off-hand but again, nothing really serious. Maybe this bears some watching now.

The PBA’s Willie Marcial also read it and he gave me the thumbs up on what I am trying to do. Well, I tried it again and in a different format and one of these days I will get it down pat along with the opposing team’s shot clock management.




Again, going by the 24-second shot clock management theory, B-Meg scored well in first and third six-second series.

If you look at my Game One stats, B-Meg scored 17 points in the last six seconds of their shot clock. In Game Two, the Llamados scored 25 points in the last six seconds. A couple of things, B-Meg is a little more patient and composed with its execution, and two, TNT’s defense is either not too great. Coach Chot mentioned in the post-match presscon last night that his players have to play the full 48 minutes with total concentration. That also goes for the shot clock. They defend to the last second.

Ideally, I should chart TNT’s shot clock management, but man, I only have one writing hand. Hopefully, I can get someone to help me with it soon. 



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

All he does is win




Good luck in the Webby Awards!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The new issue of Football Philippines is out!


Here's the cover to the latest issue of Football Philippines. As it says on the cover, there's a no holds barred interview with the national coach. I contributed a pair of articles: "Painting the pitch blue" that is about the opening of the Chelsea Soccer School and "Unchartered territory, adversity and the seer" that recaps the AFC Challenge Cup. 

You may look for this magazine -- it's FREE -- at Bootcamp at the Regis Center among many places. Will ask (I am sorry I don't know where else) where you may get this as well.



Sole Academy in Katipunan


On my way home today, I dropped by Bootcamp at the Regis Center to pick up my copies of the latest issue of Football Philippines. I was thinking of grabbing a quick bite at the Pancake House next to Regis Center when I spotted SOLE ACADEMY (Unit D No. 29 F. dela Rosa St. cor. Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights -- in front of Gate 3 of Ateneo). I have never seen that shop before (yeah, I know it was launched in September of last year and I live five minutes away from Ateneo but still...) so I decided to check it out. The Air Jordan collection in the stairwell is one of the shop's attractions. It has all 24 Air Jordans. Amazing. 


I spoke with old friend Jojo Hizon who co-owns the shop and SOLE ACADEMY is a shop for lifestyle kicks. They complement Bootcamp (football gear) and the Riovana shops at the Regis Center. They carry Nike, Vans, Asics, Palladium, adidas, Converse, and Puma. 



Inside the fitting room of the second floor is a mural of LeBron James guarding Kobe Bryant. Tres cool. They also have a lot of limited edition kicks that you will not find anywhere else (not even in other countries). So check them out. I will do so again when I have a little dough to spend.




Good reads in the latest Time magazine (while you drink some coffee)


While meeting up with old buddy Lexton Moy at The Coffee Bean in Burgos Circle this afternoon, I picked up a copy of the latest issue of Time Magazine for Php130 (that gets you free coffee). Love the essays by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin, Jeremy Lin on former Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, Ferran Adria on Danish chef Rene Redzepi, Time magazine sports editor Bill Saporito on Novak Djokovic, Admiral Mike Mullen on Barbara van Dahlen, Sarah Jessica Parker on Sarah Burton, US President Barack Obama on Warren Buffet, Katie Couric on Sara Blakely, Jon Meacham on Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and Mia Hamm on Lionel Messi.

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.