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.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ceres, Pasargad brace for explosive Smart Club Championship match

This appears on

Ceres, Pasargad brace for explosive Smart Club Championship match
story and pic by rick olivares

The PFF Smart National Club Championship reaches its long end when Ceres takes on wounded Pasargad in the explosive finals set for Saturday, February 2 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Ceres, the Bacolod City power, mostly unknown outside its native Visayas, took down elite UFL clubs en route to the title match. The piped Stallion and Global by a pair of 1-nil wins before thrashing Kaya, 3-1, in the semifinals. The University of St. La Salle-based side usually features a homegrown side but added a select few Koreans and English players to beef up their squad for this tournament.

Pasargad ruined an all-La Salle finals when they stunned Green Archers United by drawing 2-2 in extra periods before advancing via an exciting 2-1 penalty shootout win.

PSG’s road to the finals was a tough one and filled with tense moments. They survived a last ditch rally by Army to advance, 2-1. Against General Trias International, PSG was outplayed for much of the way until defender sent them through with a stunning 40-yard volley for a 1-nil win. Once in the semifinals, they felled the much ballyhooed Green Archers United that undertook a massive manpower build up highlighted by the acquisition of longtime Air Force and Azkals icon, Chieffy Caligdong.

That semifinals match however saw them lose four stalwarts because of cards. PSG will be without striker Emmanuel MBata, midfielder Charles Ujam, central back Jaham Taher, and goalkeeper Reza Ataei.

“Our backs are against the wall,” cried PSG head coach Esmail Sedigh in an interview last Thursday. “There were lapses in our concentration that led to the dismissal of our key players. We can only learn from this and move forward. I have been trying my best to prepare this team for a very good Ceres team.”

Without PSG’s four key players, the inconsistent Promise Jolomi will take MBata’s slot up front, while the oft cramp-troubled Reza Amirkhizan will have to play extended minutes at central back. In all of PSG’s matches thus far, Amirkhizan has gone off at the half. “We do not want to risk injury,” explained Sedigh. “But he is being prepared for longer minutes.”

At goal for Pasargad will be Ricardo Padilla. “I will try my best,” said the youthful player.

Ceres on the other hand will have its full complement that includes striker Peter Long, left winger Jayson Panhay, and tough defenders Jason Cordova, Danny Claxton, and Sim Hyung Min.

“We will take nothing for granted,” promised Ceres head coach Freddie Lazarito. “We will prepare as if Pasargad is complete. Our biggest enemy will be complacency as we think this match is a won one. We respect Pasargad.”

Notes: Unless Ceres’ Peter Long, Kim Jung Mook, Jayson Panhay, and Yoon Byeong Jun; and PSG’s Reza Amirkhizan individually score three or more goals, the Golden Boot Award will go to GAU’s Chieffy Caligdong who has registered four goals in this tournament. Green Archers United will also bag the Fair Play Award for having the fewest cautions of the tournament.

No comments:

Post a Comment