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, June 11, 2013

NU battles UE for Filoil championship

The condensed version is in the June 12 edition of the Business Mirror.

NU battles UE for Filoil crown
by rick olivares pic from UE

After nearly two months – 18 teams, 29 playing dates to be exact, and 78 games -- the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup is down to one more game for all the summer’s marbles and the pre-season ranking of favorite to cop the UAAP crown.

It is hard to determine who has the more insatiable appetite - the University of the East Red Warriors (8-2) or title favorite National University Bulldogs (10-0) in the championship match of the men’s division of the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at the Arena of San Juan.

The Bulldogs also annexed their second Fr. Martin’s Cup (where they went undefeated) in three years with a 63-47 rout of the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Altas last Sunday, June 9. NU finished that tournament with an unblemished 9-0 slate.

In the Filoil tourney, they have a 21-match win streak going that dates back to last summer.

In 10 matches this year, NU has averaged 74.5 points, 45.2 rebounds, 14 assists, and 15 turnovers per match. They have surrendered 63.7 points and 41.0 rebounds to opponents.

Another statistic in favor of NU is their propensity to go to the free throw line where they average 21.8 attempts per match.

The Bulldogs are led by their one-two punch of Ray Parks and Alfred Aroga. Parks, the reigning two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player is averaging 17.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.0 blocks per outing; an indication of how well-rounded his game has become.

Aroga, NU’s other Cameroonian outside veteran big man Jean Mbe, is averaging a double double per match with 14.4 and 10.6 boards a game. He also gets it done on the defensive end with 2.0 shot blocks a game.

This finals match up is the continuation of last year’s University Games Men’s Basketball Finals. Both NU and UE advanced to the final round but the Red Warriors opted not to play because they had a flight to catch to Taiwan where they competed in a tournament. The Red Warriors finished fourth in that competition.

“We are not the team we were last year,” noted UE head coach Boycie Zamar. “We are in the process of getting better. Last UAAP season, wala pa ako nun but they beat UE by 35 points. In the second round, we only lost by nine. We would like to bridge the gap closer pero mas malakas tong NU team na ‘to. You cannot take them for granted.”

UE’s resurgence has been led by its dynamo of a point guard in Roi Sumang (16.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game) and center Charles Mammie (14.8 points and 9.1 rebounds per match).

This summer, the Red Warriors have averaged 78.3 points while conceded 68.4. They also norm 50.4 boards and 16.0 assists a game. On offense, they have shot 40% from the field with a large volume of shots taken from the three-point line (48-223 for 21%).

With Mammie and forward center Chris Javier battling inside, UE averages 26.7 attempts from the 15-foot line. “The last time UE won a tournament was five years ago in the Filoil tournament and that was with Dindo Pumaren (forward JM Noble is the only player left from that team that won the summer crown),” said Red Warriors coach Boycie Zamar. “Most of my current players have not been in this situation so it is a learning experience for us. We are up against a NU team that knows how to win.”

Parks, who injured his ankle in the Fr. Martin’s finals is a game time decision. “The opportunity (the Filoil championship) is here and I need to lead the team. So I am debating on it.”

Game time for NU and UE is at 4pm. San Beda College and the University of Santo Tomas figure in the battle for third place at 2pm. In the Juniors Division, NU attempts to go for a double celebration when they take on defending champion San Beda at 9am. In the women’s division, De La Salle battles Far Eastern University at 11am.

The Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup is presented by Hanes and Vulcaseal/Bostick. The collegiate basketball tournament is co-presented by Master Facial Wash, Starmobile, Meralco, and San Mig Coffee. Sponsors include DHL, Nature’s Spring, Reyes BBQ, Banco De Oro, and Bayo. Minor sponsors include Gatorade, Molten, Brother’s Burger, San Marino, Bank of the Philippine Islands, and Bacchus Energy Drink.


  1. NU, not even close. Mbe is better than Mammie

  2. hahaha you got screwed. Mammie just schooled not only Mbe but Aroga.
    love Boysie Zamar. he seems to be a grounded coach.
    Sarap ng panalo na ito.
    NU might have the money to buy players but UE just showed everyone that hardwork, teamwork, pride and heart can win championship as well.

  3. Over-reliance on Parks was clearly obvious at the halfway mark of the 4th when he graduated and the team played like a headless chicken with no go-to guy from then on.