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.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Backcourt generals: Letran’s Mark Cruz, JRU’s Paolo Pontejos & Lyceum’s Tirso Lesmoras

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Backcourt generals: Letran’s Mark Cruz, JRU’s Paolo Pontejos & Lyceum’s Tirso Lesmoras
by rick olivares

Letran's Mark Cruz
Watching Letran go up against Lyceum, I paid closed attention to a couple of match ups – the Knights’ Jamil Gabawan against the Pirates’ Vergel Evangelista (at the four-spot); the point guard duel between Mark Cruz and Tirso Lesmores; and McJour Luib and Jomari Lacastesantos (at the two).

Evangelista had the upper hand against the normally steady Gabawan (who was in foul trouble because of a couple of bum calls) while Luib and Lacastesantos was pretty much even. That left the point guard duel between Cruz and Lesmoras.

The two have been compared coz they’re pint-sized quarterbacks. Loved how they went at each other yesterday showing a variety of moves.

In one play, Cruz drove the middle of the lane (I have no idea why LPU’s defenders give that much space to drive) then pulled back when the bigs met him. He surveyed his options then hit a hanging turn around jumper!

In the very next play, Lesmoras went at Cruz on a quick outlet then hung in the air then flicked the ball into the hoop. Jolens!

Playground ball at the Filoil.

In yesterday’s match-up between the two, here’s how the two fared:

And here’s how we size ‘em for the summer:
LPU's Tirso Lesmoras

Scouting report:
Mark Cruz: Tough and physical player in the vein of Chris Tiu. Doesn’t make too many mistakes. Makes excellent reads. Good rebounder for someone his size. Great range on his shot – three-point zone, medium range, pull-up, turn around, even the fastbreak finish. And he can hang if he needs too. If you aren’t looking, he’ll pop you too.

Tirso Lesmoras: Inconsistent outside shot but is quick where he will use that first step to lay the ball in. Will hang in the air to show off his hops. Can make good passes but is inconsistent too. He has to decide if he is a point guard or a points guard. If he can run the offense better, he will get more playing time.

Now let’s throw in another pint-sized dynamo in Jose Rizal University’s Paolo Pontejos who plays a large part in the Heavy Bombers’ game plan.

Paolo Pontejos: Deadly three-point shooter. Clearly the creative force behind the Heavy Bombers. Stop him and these guys will not amount to anything. Good rebounder amongst the forest of tall players. Like Lesmoras, more of a scorer than a playmaker. Probably because his team needs it. But watching the kid shoot is a lot of fun.

These are their statistics from the current Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup:

Pontejos has a slight edge over Cruz but you have to read it into the proper context. Cruz has better teammates whereas the former doesn’t have much (can you say Philip Paniamogan).

Lemsoras, as I have written earlier, will have to be a more consistent player to earn more minutes and to be fully effective.

JRU's Paolo Pontejos

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