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.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SWU Cobras to spice up Filoil summer league

This appears in the Thursday March 21, 2013 edition of the Business Mirror.

SWU Cobras to spice up Filoil summer league
by rick olivares

There will be a new wrinkle to the seventh staging of the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup. The pre-season basketball tournament, considered a testing ground for school teams from the NCAA and the UAAP will have a guest team in Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) champions Southwestern University Cobras.

The Cobras, who won their first CESAFI championship this past season after defeating the University of Visayas in five matches, have also been in the news for the transfer of center Ben Mbala to La Salle beginning this coming season. Taking Mbala’s place in the Cobras’ lineup is 6’10” center, Siewe Armel.

This summer tournament looks to be the most exciting in years as most schools have reloaded for the coming collegiate wars. With the graduation of a core of veterans, five-time UAAP champion Ateneo looks vulnerable and many schools are itching to knock the Blue Eagles off their lofty perch as they recorded the longest title streak in college ball since San Sebastian raked in five consecutive NCAA diadems from 1993-98 behind center Rommel Adducul.

Notable players expected to make their debuts include La Salle’s Kib Montalbo (from St. John’s Institute in Bacolod), National University’s JJ Alejandro (from Mapua and is suiting up for the first time after redshirting due to national team duty) and Cameroonian Alfred Arogo, Ateneo’s Christopher Newsome (who has completed his two-year residency period after coming over from Rio Rancho High School in New Mexico, USA), University of the Philippines’ Joseph Marata (who returns to Diliman where he spent his high school years after a two-year stint with La Salle), Letran’s Ray Nambatac (who moves up from the Letran Squires to the Knights), and Adamson’s Axel IƱigo (the San Beda Red Cubs point guard who joins the Falcons) among many others. 

New coaches making their debut include Letran’s Caloy Garcia who once played high school football for the Squires before switching to basketball with the College of Saint Benilde, Bo Perasol who takes over from Norman Black in Ateneo, Boyet Fernandez who takes over from Ronnie Magsanoc in San Beda, and Nash Racela, who leaves Talk ‘N Text for FEU.

Making a comeback is Michael “Topex” Robinson who returns to San Sebastian’s bench after leaving last season after squabbles with team management. 

The two brackets are a mix between the various NCAA and UAAP teams.

The schools in Bracket A are San Beda College, University of Perpetual Help Dalta System, National University, Far Eastern University, University of the Philippines, Arellano University, College of Saint Benilde, Jose Rizal University, and Adamson University.

In Bracket B, the teams are Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, University of the East, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Arellano University, Emilio Aguinaldo College, and Southwestern University. 

The Filoil Flying V Premier Cup tips off on April 13 at the Filoil Flying Arena in San Juan. The quarterfinals begin on June 3 with the finals to be held on June 12.

The defending champion is National University.

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