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 8, 2013

Saving face: Allen Serna’s late block gives Pachanga a 1-0 win over Kaya

Saving face: Allen Serna’s late block gives Pachanga a 1-0 win over Kaya
by rick olivares

Thursday February 7, 2013
Rizal Memorial Football Stadium

Allen Serna took a facial for the team.

Kaya’s late sub Anton Ugarte fired a shot from close range with only seconds to play in the match. Serna had only a second to make a decision. The shot was headed for the goal. Keeper Kim Versales was on the right side and he would not be able to get a hand on the shot in time. Serna was in the way and he knew if he got out the way the ball would go in and give Kaya the equalizer.

It was an easy decision. He used his face to block the shot. The ball ricocheted away from harm and Pachanga came away a 1-0 winner of Kaya. Serna’s nose was beet red after the match and he held a towel to his nose. “At least panalo,” he said through the pain.


They can make or break a game. And it seems that Kaya made quite a few of them on either side of the spectrum.

Kaya couldn’t break down Pachanga-Diliman’s defense. Without their two national players in OJ Porteria and Chris Greatwich, they didn’t have any offense either.

So they started out with new pickup Janrick Soriano playing atop their attack formation with Nate Burkey playing alongside him. It was a puzzling move since Soriano has played a wing defender or midfielder for West Negros, the Philippine Homeless World Cup team, the Bacolod U-23 team, Global, and Pachanga.

Kaya held for the most part but in the 28th minute conceded a penalty to Pachanga that Jason Cunliffe converted for the only score of the match.

Both squads attacked from the opening whistle. It was one counter after another with their respective back fours holding fast. That is until Kaya defender Dario Dakic’s late tackle on a run by Pachanga forward Ian Mariano inside the box. Cunliffe promptly fired right as Kaya keeper Saba Sadeghi went left; 1-0 nil, Pachanga.

As it was during the Ceres match in the PFF Smart National Club Championship, Kaya’s game went south after they conceded. They struggled to find their offense relying mostly on wing play as opposed to the more deliberate build-up of Pachanga.

It was a massive advantage for Pachanga with their wondrous midfield of Jay Eusebio, Boyet Cañedo, and Anto Gonzales. Between the three, they can move the ball and find teammates and Sadegi had to make some terrific saves to keep his side in the fight.

It didn’t help that Kaya didn’t have any real build-up from the back. No doubt, the team was missing their Azkals but more than that, the fluidity that was brought to their game by Lexton Moy or Prince Mark Boley (now showing his stuff with Stallion) has seen the team sputter. And with no Eric Dagroh up front (he is out with an injury), Kaya had no one to create plays for them. The best idea they had on offense was a deft flick by Enzo Pinga to Antonio King that the latter was unable to field that had he done so would see him scoot towards the goal without any defender near him.

The late shuffling of players saw Kaya attack with a flourish in what turned out to be a rousing finish in an otherwise staid game.

Janrick Soriano moved to a more familiar right back position while Anton del Rosario came in with about eight minutes to play as they now had some midfield moxie. But the subs’ entry was a little too late to do much damage against a tired Pachanga squad that was relentless for much of the game.

And so the Bob Salvacion-coached Pachanga-Diliman escaped with the three full points available as 1-nil winners. While Kaya was left to ponder their next game that is against Green Archers United next Tuesday.

Notes: The game would have been a little more mustard to it as the original Pachanga squad was borne out the old Kaya creating a little enmity between the two sides a few years ago. But with Pachanga’s buyout by Diliman, the undertones are no longer there. However, there are enough ties between the two squads. Pachanga defender Yves Ashime, midfielders Boyet Cañedo and Ousseynou Diop, reserve striker Jovin Bedic, and goalkeeper Kim Versales are from the original Red Phoenix team that won the Division Two title a year ago. Kaya’s Janrick Soriano and forward Alu Kigbu also played for that team.


  1. Sir, grabe yung trio nila Cunliffe, Gonzales at Cañedo. Tapos okay din ung right side nila. Condition ung RB tapos maganda ung understanding nya with Eusebio.

    Naisip ko lang kung si Tating ung striker nila with the quality of over the top and through balls nung midfield.

    Maraming tanong sa Kaya. Ung position ng mga players nalilito ako eh. Dami rin kasi wala players kay ganon.

    Sir, ano nga pala nangyari kay OJ? Nung pumasok siya sabi ko eto na, mukhang magkakaroon na rin ng buhay ung left side ng Pachanga pero ilang minuto lang siya. Dating injury po ba yun?

    1. Man, I hope OJ is okay. He said he heard something in his knee. He suspects it's something bad as he's experienced it before. But no telling yet what's up. Will pray for the dude.

    2. Already felt something was wrong with OJ C. before that yellow when he didn't ran after the ball a minute or two before the bad tackle. Hope he recovers fast, it's only the 1st week of the League.