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.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

SWU Cobras turn the EAC Generals into GI Schmoe

SWU Cobras turn the EAC Generals into GI Schmoe
by rick olivares

Here are my thoughts on the match between Southwestern University and Emilio Aguinaldo College in yesterday’s Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup games that put on the spotlight two time-honored basketball truisms.

The first is – you have to make your free throws.

And two, you need that post presence if you want to win.

The Southwestern University Cobras have been rocked from the moment they joined the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup. Sure they have seven new players and aren’t expected to jell right away but still, but they look on the bright side about getting blown out on a regular basis – it’s a learning process.

Another blowout was in the offing when Emilio Aguinaldo College raced to a 21-point lead behind the torrid shooting of Francis Munsayac (6-8 3pt shooting) and Jan Jamon (6-11 3pt shooting).

It sure didn’t help that the Cobras missed 13 of 24 free throws awarded them in the first half.

The Emilio Aguinaldo Generals run a guard-oriented offense. They move the ball around a bit then kick the ball out to either Francis Munsayac or Jan Jamon for a triple. If you watch them you’ll know they don’t really have a post presence. Igee King likes to beat his man on the dribble but for the most part they like to jack up shots from the outside.

Once the Southwestern University Cobras settled down, they played the Generals’ perimeter players tight then used the athleticism of Fil-Canadian Adam Mohammed and 6’7” Cameroonian Landry Sanjo to assault the inside of which EAC had no answer. Mohammed scored six points to the 16 of Sanjo in a ferocious comeback. It seemed at times that it was two against five and it was the latter who was no match!

This was the best I’ve seen Sanjo play in his seven games thus far in this tournament. On one play, he pulled down the defensive board then went coast-to-coast for a lay-up. He could have thrown that ball down but he simply dropped the ball inside the basket. He shut down that lane and blocked every shot coming his way (he finished with five blocks).

When Sanjo was pulled out for a short breather at the 4:55 mark of the third period – why I do not know because they just pulled ahead – the Generals immediately came storming back as Jamon nailed a triple and John Tayongtong drove for a bucket to wrest back the lead, 50-49.

When Sanjo was sent back with about a minute left, he lost his rhythm as he fouled Jamon who made a triple for a four-point play. The third period ended, 60-54 for EAC.

I like how EAC coach Andy De Guzman (yep, the former FEU Tamaraw star who also played for Sunkist in the PBA among other clubs) gives second year player Sidney Onwubere playing time. This Fil-African who came up from EAC’s high school has some skills but he just needs to be more confident. In the third period, he had a drive erased by Sanjo (one of the referees commented to me along the baseline that Sanjo was “The Void” so from hereon we will call Landry Sanjo “The Void”).

At the start of the fourth, The Void attacked the useless Gigi Manga, EAC’s African, for a bucket then Nilson Otida, hauled down a board and zipped for a coast-to-coast bucket. If I were Andy De Guzman I’d make these Generals run suicides because SWU scored on four coast-to-coast drives for the whole game. Where’s the transition defense?

Onwubere scored over The Void with a death-defying floater (The Void jumped really high to block the shot but that floater was like a 15-foot one) for a 62-59, EAC lead.

That was obliterated by a Melvin Holper trey that tied the game for the first and only time at 62-all. Mike Reyes sent in seldom-used Willie Escobio and what Cebuano cannot shoot?

Escobio scored eight huge fourth quarter points! But The Void was awesome putting back a Mark Panerio missed layup.

The Generals also shot themselves in the foot with a 24-second shot clock violation and a Tayongtong turnover that the Cobras converted into points and a 69-62 lead with 5:06 to play.

Then, the free throw shooting aspect came back into play.

For the entire game, SWU was awarded 37 free throws! This is the third highest number of the tournament (tied with Letran and Lyceum) so far with the most being the University of Perpetual Help Altas who were awarded 54 free throws – they converted 33 of them -- this must be a damn record. The 33 free throws were more than their total field goals for the entire game. Damn. Triple damn.

EAC went to the line 19 times and made 13. But their misses too were crucial. Jamon and King missed two shots that would have leveled the count at 73-all. But SWU went to the line as well and more often too as they added to Adam Mohammed’s trey at the 1:07 mark for a 76-71 lead. Javy Bautista hit three free throws (out of six) while Mohammad added one for the final score of 80-75.

If you look at the 15 points that EAC scored in the fourth period, only two came inside the paint and that was that high floater by Onwubere (and minus the four free throws made). The rest were from the outside.

Furthermore, the Generals couldn’t contain Sanjo who grabbed 16 rebounds with five coming on the offensive glass. Fabrice Siewe was one massive paperweight on the SWU bench. No lane presence. No inside game. You have shoot the daylights out of the gym if you want to win.

SWU 80Sanjo 23, Mohammad 16, Panerio 9, Escobio 8, Goloran 6, Pajantoy 6, Holper 3, Bautista 3, Otida 2, Siewe 1, Ortega 0, Arong 0.

EAC 75Munsayac 26, Jamon 24, Onwubere 7, Tayongtong 5, King 4, Arquero 4, Mallari 3, Manga 2, Castro 0, Monteclaro 0, Santos 0.

Quarter scores:
9-21, 34-44, 54-60, 80-75

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