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, January 24, 2013

The Road to the 2012-13 PFF Smart National Club Championship

The Road to the 2012-13
PFF Smart National Club Championship
by rick olivares

The 2012-13 PFF Smart National Club Championship kicked off on the 17th of October 2012 with a match between Cavite and Oriental Mindoro with the former winning, 2-1. Since then a total of 78 matches have been placed all over the Philippines.

From a total of 40 clubs, we are down to the last four – and in alphabetical order – Ceres, Green Archers United, Kaya, and Pasargad. Ceres is the lone provincial team left in the competition.

This is how these four teams have arrived at this point in the tournament:

Ceres vs. Leyte 10-0
Ceres vs. Cebu 1-0
Round of 16: Ceres vs. Stallion 1-0

Round of 16: Kaya vs. M’Lang 5-0
Quarterfinals: Kaya vs. Loyola 1-0

Round of 16: Pasargad vs. Army 2-1
Quarterfinals: Pasargad vs. General Trias International 1-0

Green Archers United
Round of 16: Green Archers United vs. Romgarjal 6-1
Quarterfinals: Green Archers United vs. Pachanga 1-0

Since the Round of 16, it has been a virtual win-or-go-home for every team in the competition.

The Final Four cast for the 2011 tournament is completely different from that of the 2011-12 tournament where it was the four of Pachanga, San Beda, Stallion, and Teknika (Global). Save for San Beda, the three other sides made it to the Round of 16 that was concluded in August of 2011. Furthermore, the 2011 tournament was played from April to August of 2011. For the second staging of the PF Smart National Club Championship, the games were played from October of 2012 and will conclude in the first weekend of February 2013.

Before we get there, however, there will be the explosive semifinals this coming Saturday, January 26, at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

At 4pm it’s going to be Ceres taking on Kaya at 4pm and Green Archers United going up against Pasargad at 630pm.

Three of the top five goal scorers in the competition (from the Round of 16) are still playing. That’s GAU’s Chieffy Caligdong who has three and Kaya’s Nate Burkey and GAu's Tating Pasilan who both have two. Ceres' midfielder Aldrin Dolino and Yoon Byeong Jun have scored four and three goals respectively although the tally for the Golden Boot Award will begin counting from the Round of 16 onwards.

Notes: The most lopsided score of the entire competition was Surigao del Norte and Iligan Lanao del Norte where the latter won by a score of 19-1. The second most lopsided match was between Masbate and Legaspi-Albay that the former won by the score of 11-1. So Ceres 10-0 romp over Leyte is tied with that of Masbate albeit they kept a clean sheet against the opposition.

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