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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

UFL Power Rankings for the Week of April 23-27

UFL Division One Power Rankings
Week of April 23-27
by rick olivares and bob guerrero

Stallion – Now in a unique position to win the UFL’s first double (the Cup and the League). Started out the season with a suspect bench but instead have become an even better team than the one that won the cup). With over 10 players scoring, they are simply the most dangerous team in the UFL.

Global – No disrespect to the defending champs but save for their last outing, they looked shaky for a few matches. All of a sudden those injuries hurt. However, they rebounded by putting the hurt on Nomads to get back on track.

Loyola - Still has yet to prove it can beat the top sides in the UFL – Stallion, Global, and Kaya. They’ll have to win all three of their second round meetings if they want to win the league.

Kaya – Have come on strong since David Perkovic took over. Disappointing result in their last match though against Green Archers United.

Pachanga-Diliman – Noel Marcaida however has done this team right. They’re going in the right direction. But they need more spunk in their game. Imagine this, before they had Janrick Soriano and Jovin Bedic in their lineup but didn’t know how to use them. Now the two are doing well for their new clubs.

Pasargad – You don’t know what team is going to come out for every game. Is it the one that played Global tough before going down? Is this the club that looked great during the PFF Smart National Club Championships? Or is it the one that was crushed 5-1 by Stallion. Consistency is one of the many things this club needs to address.

Green Archers United – No team has been more snakebit than GAU. Six of their matches have been decided in the last 10 minutes of play. If they can fix their offense they’ll be okay. The addition of Raymark Fernandez helps but what they need is a honest to goodness system and not the craziness they employ during practice.

Nomads – This team is reeling. The good showing in the first round is a memory. Now they’re on a five-game losing skid. Practices three times a week aren’t going to help one bit. Plus, the other players have to learn how to pass. The truth is, if Air Force were anywhere near its old team and form, Nomads would be down in the relegation zone.

Air Force – They’ve got their second wind. Two consecutive victories and a strong showing against Global will do that for a club that has been battered like never before. A win and a draw will pull them up to safety.

Army - This team is actually a talented one that can compete for the first 20 minutes before sinking into a quagmire of fouls and rough play. It’s panic time for this veteran team. 

UFL Tuesday: Air Force-Loyola preview (and the Top 10 goal scorers in the UFL)

Grudge Match Round Two
 by rick olivares pics by mark dimalanta/interaksyon

April 30, 2013
Emperador Stadium
McKinley Hill

There will be a noticeable difference when Air Force takes the pitch tonight against Loyola.

They’ve got confidence. And that can be a dangerous thing as they’ve won two straight convincingly. Even some of their losses were in some way, a moral victory (e.g. the 2-0 loss to Global where they pushed the defending champions to the brink before conceding a pair of goals late in the game).

Pundits might claim that PAF’s two victims were teams on a skid and will be hard-pressed to do the same to one of the better clubs.

So it’s the new attitude and new look Air Force against same old foe, Loyola. The Sparks had the better team last year but got outplayed by the Airmen who won the battle of wills and psy-war.

Loyola is also on a two-game win streak after having that stopped by a draw with Global and a loss to Stallion.

What should Loyola do to win?
They should score early if not put in a couple of goals in the back of the net. If they can do that they will put Air Force on their heels.

The Sparks should make Air Force put the ball down on the ground and force them into short passing. While Loyola has the height at the back to deal with the longballs, they cannot take the chance. They have to cut those supply of balls to Ian Araneta and try to force the others to beat them. They also have to watch the dangerous Ansing Gustilo who can hurt you if you aren’t paying attention.

On offense, the quicker the passing, the better it is for Loyola. They are the best passing team in the UFL’s Division One. This is how they carve out opponents.

What should Air Force do to win?
If they can hold and not give up silly fouls and just play football they stand a chance. They do not have a bench so it is important for the starters of this team to hold together.

Their physical play used to be a weapon as they had the veteran players who could make plays. Not so with this younger team that needs a little more seasoning. Will their physical game cause problems for Loyola? That depends if players like James Younghusband choose to let it affect them.

PAF should try to contain Mark Hartmann and stop Loyola’s finely tuned passing game. Zonal marking should help them out in this task. If they can exploit the spaces in Loyola’s 4-2-3-1 formation (just as Kaya and Stallion did), they’ll have the Sparks more cautious in their attack. It is easier said than done, of course.

When Mark Hartmann scores, Loyola almost always wins. It is imperative they stop him. But then again, there’s also Phil Younghusband. Air Force should thank the stars that Freddy Gonzalez is unavailable or else that’s three dangerous scorers (you can even throw in Jeong Byeong Yeol into that mix) they have to worry about.

A couple of players will be missing this match because of the accumulation of yellow cards: Loyola midfielder David Cortina, and Air Force’s multi-position Vince Braga.

The Sparks have a deeper bench while Air Force will miss Braga’s physical presence not to mention nose for the game.

Here are the Top 10 scorers in this UFL season:
Phil Younghusband (Loyola) - 12
Mark Hartmann – (Loyola) 11
Rufo Sanchez – (Stallion) 11
Izzo Elhabib – (Global) 8
Emmanuel Mbata – (Pasargad) 7
Joo Young Lee – (Stallion) 6
Chieffy Caligdong – (Green Archers United) 5
Ian Araneta – (Air Force) 5
Jeffrey Christiaens – (Global) 4
Meliton Pelayo – (Army) 4
Patrick Reichelt – (Global) 4
Hyo Il Kim – (Stallion) 4

Monday, April 29, 2013

Vote for your fave college basketball players in the first ever Filoil Master Game Face All-Star Basketball Challenge


The Master Game Face Challenge is an all-star Game between the two player pools in the FilOil Preseason Tournament.

Pool A will be coached by Borgie Hermida and will consist of players from the following schools:
·               Arellano University
·               College of Saint Benilde
·               Emilio Aguinaldo College
·               Far Eastern University
·               Jose Rizal University
·               National University
·               Perpetual Help University
·               San Beda College
·               University of the Philippines

Pool B will be coached by Chris Tiu and will consist of players from the following schools:
·               Adamson University
·               Ateneo De Manila University
·               Colegio San Juan de Letran
·               De La Salle University
·               Lyceum of the Philippines University
·               San Sebastian College- Recolectos
·               Southwestern University
·               University of the East
·               University of Santo Tomas
Each team will have a total of 18 players competing in the Master Game Face Challenge. Each team competing in the FilOil Preseason Tournament will have at least one player representative.

1.             Fan Vote
2.             Coaches Selection
3.             Roster announcement

April 10          Press Launch of FilOil Tournament/Announcement of Master Game Face Challenge
April 13          Commencement of FilOil Tournament
April 20          Launch of Fan Vote Application
May 19           Conclusion of Fan Vote
May 24           Submission of Coaches Selections
May 25           Announcement of Master Game Face Challenge Rosters
June 8            Master Game Face Challenge


The Player Pool will consist of 180 players from each of the 18 participating schools. Each school will have two (2) players eligible at each of the five (5) positions; Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Small Forward, Power Forward and Center.   


The Master Game Face Challenge Vote Application opens to a landing page where the fan is greeted by a brief welcome to the app with and two links; one leading to an instruction page with detailed step by step mechanics of the vote app and another which leads to the Vote Page.

The Vote Page opens to a ballot with two teams labeled Team Chris and Team Borgie. Each team has a roster of five players each of a different position; Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Small Forward, Power Forward and Center. Each roster spot has an image placeholder of the Master Oil Control Logo.  Clicking on the Master logo will bring up a drop down page which has a list of all eligible players for that position. When a fan selects a player from that pool, the selected player’s picture will replace the Master Logo and the players name and school affiliation will be listed beneath the photo. When the fan has selected filled out his roster by selecting a player for each position the ballot can then be submitted.

When the ballot has been submitted, the fan will land on a page with a thanking them for casting their vote and a list of dates to remember- Announcement of the All Star Roster on May 25 and the Master Game Face Challenge on June 1.

The Fan Vote will close on May 19.


After the starting line-ups for both teams have been selected by the Fan Vote, the coaches- Chris Tiu and Borgie Hermida- will select the Master Game Face Challenge Reserves. The coaches will select 13 players each to round out their rosters from the remaining eligible player pool. Coaches will be encouraged to select at least one player from each participating team. Coaches will also be dissuaded from selecting a player if that player’s team already has three players representing them at the Master Game Face Challenge. The coaches will also make selections with regard to player positions and will build a roster with competitive balance; ie a balance of guards, forwards and centers.

The coaches will be required to submit their rosters by May 24.


The full Master Game Face Challenge rosters will be announced on May 25 on Studio 23 between the first and second games of the day.

The top-rated defense in the UFL, clean sheets & what club cuts it close

UFL Division One data: the top-rated defense, clean sheets, and what club cuts it close.

We did a table sorting out the goals scored and concede by all the ten clubs. The data is updated all the way to last Saturday, April 27. 

What can we infer from the table?

1.    The top-rated defense in the league is Global.
2.    Save for PAF and PA, the other eight clubs score better in the second half. Pasargad scored better but they also give up more goals.
3.    The top four clubs – Stallion, Global, Loyola, and Kaya make the best adjustments after the break. Kaya has been resilient of late in the second half with the matches against Loyola, Global and Green Archers United boosting their stock.
4.    Loyola is still the best scoring club. They’ve improved their defense a bit but the question is, will it be enough to conquer Stallion and Global?
5.    Green Archers United, PAF, and PA give up a lot of early goals. That not only puts them in an early hole but more often that not, it puts the fight out of them.

Other stats:
Games decided by one goal – 17
Games decided by two goals – 10
Games decided by three goals – 6
Games decided by four goals – 9
Games decided by five goals or more – 5
Draws – 8

Games where one team is held scoreless – 25
Games where both teams are scoreless – 1

Games won in the last 10 minutes – 11
Games drawn in the last 10 minutes – 1

Most clean sheets by one team – 7, Global
Most games by a team unable to score – 6, PAF and Nomads

Most games by a team decided in the last 10 minutes of play – 6, Green Archers United
Kaya vs. GAU, 2-1 loss, 97th minute winner by Janrick Soriano
Pasargad vs. GAU, 2-1 loss, 87th minute winner by Promise Jolomi
Pachanga vs. GAU, 2-0 loss, 92nd minute goal by OJ Clarino
GAU vs. Nomads, 2-1, win 92nd minute goal by Chieffy Caligdong
Stallion vs. GAU, 4-3 loss, 84th minute win by Diego Barrera
Kaya vs. GAU, 3-3 draw, 91st minute goal by Gabe Oloweyeye for the draw


More data on the way............

UFL Tuesday preview: Stallion vs Army

Stallion vs. Army preview
by rick olivares pic by mark dimalanta

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Emperador Stadium
McKinley Hill

It probably goes without saying, nevertheless, I will -- this match will be an intensely fought one. Is that an understatement?

Stallion (10-0-1) would like to continue racking up those wins and the three full points that come with them on order to hold off Global and Loyola.

They’ll be up against Army that will come out with an air of urgency and desperation magnified by the 1-nil loss to Air Force last Saturday (with the goal courtesy of Antonio Albor in the 74th minute). It was Army’s first loss in six matches to their military rival and as a result, it dropped ignominiously to tenth spot that is the automatic relegation zone.

A few weeks ago, Army was at ninth place and no matter how bad it was it meant at least a playoff battle to avoid dropping down to the second division. But an Air Force win over sliding Nomads gave the Airmen some hope and now they booked their second win of the second round.

A mere three days after that colossal flop against Air Force, Army is back in action. Before, it was to keep their heads above water. Now, it’s for survival. Do they have the mental fortitude to get right back up? Can they pull off the biggest upset of the season by defeating Stallion?

When both sides battled last February 21, Stallion won, 2-1, with the former looking vulnerable in the second half. It was an ugly pattern for a while for the UFL Cup champions who after taking an early lead, would relax and concede some second half goals. But they have since corrected that flaw.

That February 21 encounter was Army’s second game of the UFL season and their confidence, despite losing, 4-1, to Loyola in the season opener, was pretty good. They’ve been shellacked repeatedly since and they play with an edge, perhaps, of dead men walking, nowadays.

It’s a sad fate for the proud and once feared military teams. Navy is at eighth spot in the nine-team second division. Army? They’re staring at being relegated.

Why Stallion will win this game? For one, they have a deeper team with more lethal weapons. More than 10 different players have scored and that means there is no dependency on Rufo Sanchez to score.

Second, their bench has become even more confident as they have delivered. Plus they have the second best defense in the league.

Army on the other hand has the worst defense as they have allowed 37 goals. If they can make a game of it in the first half, keep it tight and score a goal. The problem for Army is the second half. If Boogie Margarse and Ric Becite are influential in this match, they have a slim chance. But they’re also missing Rodrigo Betita who is still serving out his six-month suspension and Relan Bretaña who is out on accumulation of yellow cards.

Check this one I wrote about the league's top-rated defense etc.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Shooting Stars competition at the Jr. NBA event with Muggsy Bogues

We ran a mini-event at the Jr. NBA Finals today at the Mall of Asia. It's a simple game I came up with called Shooting Stars. We first ran this last year also at the same event to great success. The game is simple. I married a shooting competition with hydration albeit under time pressure. Each team has different participants at four different positions on the court. Before they shoot the ball, they have to drink a cup of Gatorade. When they've completed all four shots, they have to retreat to the halfcourt line where they have to heave a long ball through the net. The team that completes the tasks in the shortest possible time wins. 

What we've done is mix teams comprising of a member of the media, a Jr. NBA participant, and a Gatorade athlete/NBA player.

For today's challenge, it was Team Jolas (Lastimosa) versus Team Muggsy. Team Jolas was composed of interaksyon's Roy Afable, Abante's AJ Bolando, Jojo Lastimosa, UP Fighting Maroon Henry Asilum, and one Jr. NBA player. Team Muggsy had obviously, Muggsy Bogues, Gatorade's Stu Balmaceda and Yu Murayama, NU Bulldog Jean Mbe, and UST Growling Tiger Aljon Mariano. Team Muggsy won the Shooting Stars competition in 1:04 to the 1:47 of Team Jolas.

After the fun and games, we all had some pasta and pizza!

Ateneo’s Newsome, San Beda win Filoil-Gatorade honors for April 13-20

Ateneo’s Newsome, San Beda win Filoil-Gatorade honors

The Gatorade Defensive Player for April 13-20 of the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup is Ateneo Blue Eagle Chris Newsome. In three matches (against Southwestern University, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and Emilio Aguinaldo College), Newsome pulled down 35 rebounds and had six steals for a 11.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals average.

The Gatorade Best Five for April 13-20 is Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena, Von Pessumal, and Chris Newsome, and San Beda’s Ola Adeogun and Art de la Cruz.

The first week of the Filoil summer tournament saw both Ateneo and San Beda play three games in the first week since they will be leaving soon for training abroad. Ateneo went 3-0 while San Beda toted a 2-1 record.