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

Letran ends Filoil skid with W over winless LPU

Letran ends Filoil skid with W over winless LPU
by rick olivares

The Letran Knights bucked the absence of center Raymond Almazan to defeat Lyceum, 77-72, yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at the San Juan Arena.

The Pirates took advantage of Almazan’s absence to pound the ball inside and take an early 10-point lead after a fastbreak lay-up by Jeremiah Taladua. “Nangangapa kami nung una tapos gumana yung pressure defense ng Lyceum,” said Knights point guard Mark Cruz who himself couldn’t get going as he finished the half with zero points, one rebound and two assists.

Dexter Zamora and Jomari Lacastesantos led the LPU Pirates in the first half by combining for 15 points.

It took the unlikely combination of back-up center Rey Publico, third string power forward Edward Oluto, Jovit Tambeling, and Rey Nambatac and Franz Dysam to bring the Knights back through tough defense. That Letran unit held the Pirates to only two points for close to six minutes as they closely narrowed the gap.

Shane Ko broke the drought with a strong drive to the hoop for a 34-29 lead with 1:03 to play in the second but Dysam closed out the quarter with a buzzer-beating triple to slice the lead down to two.

In the third quarter, the heady play of sophomore combo guard McJour Luib helped Letran break from its listlessness. The former Letran Juniors star committed two early turnovers that had head coach Caloy Garcia shaking his head. But Luib responded by stealing the ball from LPU opposite Dexter Zamora then hitting an open Cruz jumper that brought the Muralla-based team to within a point, 37-36, at the 7:43 mark.

Luib scored eight points, pulled down two rebounds, two assists, and registered two steals in the third period to give Letran a 56-50 lead they would not surrender.

The Knights registered its biggest lead of 14 points after rookie Rey Nambatac put back his own miss off a layup, 70-56, with 4:51 to play. However, the Pirates came roaring back by hitting two triples (one each from Zamora and Vergel Evangelista) and two conventional three-point plays by point guard Tirso Lesmoras and center John Azores to come within four, 76-72; time down to 18 seconds.

But time ran out on LPU as JC Po added a free thrown for the final score of 77-72.

Rey Nambatac led Letran with 16 points while Luib and Dysam chipped in 11 and 10 points respectively. Despite the absence of Almazan, the Knights outrebounded the Pirates, 54-50.

“I challenged the boys,” said first year Letran head coach Caloy Garcia whose team went to 4-3 in Group B play in the tournament and one match left (against La Salle). “because things like this (the absence of Almazan) can happen in the NCAA. It’s a good thing that they responded.”

Idle Ateneo leads Group B with a 6-1 record while La Salle remains undefeated at 5-0. Both are already assured of two of the four quarterfinal slots available. The University of the East and the University of Santo Tomas, both sporting 3-2 records, also remain in the hunt for two seats to the next round. They both defeated Letran.

For Letran to advance, they first have to defeat La Salle and hope that neither UE nor UST register five wins.

LPU was led by Dexter Zamora who finished with a game high 17 points while Vergel Evangelista added 13. Tirso Lesmoras chipped in 10 markers.

Lyceum remains winless at 0-4.

Letran 77Nambatac 16, Luib 11, Dysam 10, Publico 9, Cruz 7, Oluto 6, Ruaya 5, Gabawan 5, Tambeling 3, Castro 3, Almario 1, Po 1, Requero 0.

Lyceum 72Zamora 17, Evangelista 13, Lesmoras 10, Azores 9, Taladua 6, Lacastesantos 6, Ko 6, Mendoza 4, Soliman 1, Francisco 0, Garcia 0, Edora 0. 

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