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, April 19, 2013

Ateneo defeats the EAC Generals (but they've got big problems).

Ateneo defeats the EAC Generals. 
But they’ve got big problems.
by rick olivares

Kiefer Ravena pulled up for a jumper, 7-0, Ateneo.

Kiefer Ravena blocked Emilio Aguinaldo College forward Sydney Onwubere (who is three inches taller) when the latter went up for a shot.

Kiefer Ravena stole a lazy pass and hightailed it down the court. EAC forward Igee King forced him to go baseline. The result was a difficult twisting reverse lay up (that is really peanuts for him to begin with), 12-6, Ateneo.

Kiefer Ravena drove then dropped the ball to Frank Golla who laid it in off the window for a 33-27 lead.

After King drove on Juami Tiongson to bring EAC close, 57-52, he got the ball back in the Generals’ next attack and drove hard to the basket. He was met in the air by Kiefer Ravena who emphatically rejected his shot. King would not go inside for the last seven minutes (although he settled for a 15-foot jumper later on).

The third year Blue Eagle will probably have a breakout year in the UAAP as the team is without key figures from last year’s title run. He could be the first option on offense and the last one as well. He has always been an underrated defender but that tag will be shed for good this season.

However, if Ateneo wants to defend its crown that some say it teetering on the Blue Eagles’ head, they will need to not go to the Archangel Offense (read: Kiefer save us) but for every hand to be on deck. Yes, including the frontline whose offensive production against the Generals was wanting, glaring, and lacking.

Once the tallest team in the league (if not the country), Ateneo is now bereft of tall men just as Baguio is missing pine trees after they were uprooted to make way for some mall.

With JP Erram still unavailable, the Blue Eagles rotated with only three bigs – Frank Golla, Gboy Babilonia, and Vince Tolentino.  

Luckily for Ateneo, 6’7” Cedric Happi didn’t suit up. And luckily, Ateneo’s guards and forwards stepped up.

Ravena finished with 18, Von Pessumal had 16, while Juami Tiongson added 15. With Chris Newsome in foul trouble (he finished with 7 points), it hurt in terms of bench production (35 of Ateneo’s 80 points came from the reserves). But Chris isn’t your typical frontcourt player. He likes to drive or face his man.

And somehow, this Ateneo team is beginning to resemble head coach Bo Perasol’s Powerade team that made the All-Filipino Finals of two seasons ago where the guards and small forwards carried the team. We all know what happened to them when they ran smack into a taller Talk ‘n Text squad in the finals.

All the injuries (Tiongson, Nico Elorde, Erram, Gwyne Capacio, and Kris Porter) and the unavailability of Ryan Buenafe (he is attending to his academics) will tell on chemistry. The summer is for getting in shape and fine tuning one’s game. The UAAP is not. Valuable time is lost.

Nevertheless, Ateneo outrebounded EAC, 50-38, mostly because the Generals’ defense was lousy.

For Ateneo to run, they will need to rebound. Fifty rebounds but only 14 fastbreak points.

After the Generals’ Francis Munsayac drilled a jumper to bring EAC to within a point, 51-50, by third quarters’ end, they had a chance to take the lead for the first time. But EAC went scoreless in their first two offensive sets of the fourth period.

Under siege, Ateneo caught a break when Von Pessumal hit back-to-back treys that hiked the lead to 57-50 with 7:40 to play. Ateneo outscored EAC 29-17 in the fourth quarter.

Is there anything that resembles the five-time UAAP champs for this season? Well, thus far, they have played on CESAFI team and two NCAA squads. That’s three wins. In those three wins, Ateneo played much better in the second half. Not necessarily in the third quarter as its was their fourth period explosion against EAC that got them the W. But so far, the second half has been theirs.

The acid test begins Saturday against UST and on Wednesday against UE.

It is a most difficult task and challenge for the coaching staff led by Perasol. More than ever, they will need the alumni’s support and cheers. The bumps on the road are right there. And there will be more. But as the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. 


Additional reading here


  1. sir can you shed some light on the tall African person hanging around in the Ateneo bench? Is that a new recuit?

  2. This is all positive. We should see how they play against UAAP teams. NU destroyed them already....

    1. Apparently your comprehension isn't too good. I sounded off warnings that the competition wasn't very good just yet. Read naman carefully before making comments. Medyo off kasi. And so what if NU beat them in Fr. Martin's? They haven't proven anything yet on the UAAP stage? Maybe this year. Maybe.

    2. Mr. Olivarez, you didn't comprehend me well; I am just rationalizing expectations. I am for the Blue Eagles....

    3. Whether you are for Ateneo or not is not the point. So what if NU destroyed them? NU destroyed them last year in the pre season. Did that amount to anything in the UAAP? No. I think what I wrote isn't even positive. It's how we are asking too much of Kiefer Ravena. Others should do their part. And I made a point about the bigs not showing up. We'll could get killed against the other teams. even before Season 75 ended, everyone was already saying that we should all temper expectations for the season. We all knew we did not have the height nor the scoring punch inside. I am saying that the coaching staff should address this while it is early. Clearly they need to add a bit more than what there is on that roster.

    4. I know what you said! And I am stating a fact...

  3. "And somehow, this Ateneo team is beginning to resemble head coach Bo Perasol’s Powerade team that made the All-Filipino Finals of two seasons ago where the guards and small forwards carried the team. We all know what happened to them when they ran smack into a taller Talk ‘n Text squad in the finals."

    Wow! I was supposed to ask you at some point if this Ateneo Team resembles Bo Perasol's 2012 All-Filipino Powerade Team.