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 4, 2013

Seven and up: the UE Red Warriors book a Filoil semifinals seat

This appears on

Seven and up: the UE Red Warriors book a Filoil semifinals seat
by rick olivares

It would have been easy to give up. The University of the East Red Warriors were bone tired. They arrived late Saturday night from Boracay where they played in a three-day tournament. They only had one day to prepare for the Monday Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup quarterfinals match against Adamson.

The Red Warriors started out like a house on fire. They were running and gunning and Roi Sumang was doing his best Michael Jordan impersonation.

With King Falcon Jericho Cruz all over him, Sumang drifted towards the left baseline and hit a fallaway jumper that was all net. Eight-zero, UE.

After another stop, Sumang got the ball back then buried another long tom for the first double-digit lead. It seemed as if the soreness in their limbs had dissipated. Only after JM Noble drilled a triple from the left corner pocket, the Falcons came roaring back to make a game of it.

Even with Cruz and Jansen Rios in the midst of a wretched game, Rodney Brondial, Ingrid Sewa, Roider Cabrera, Harry Petilos, and Axel Iñigo did their best to keep Adamson in the game.

After UE’s Jai Reyes laid the ball in for a 22-12 score to close out the first period, Adamson answered with a 15-5 bomb including three triples to notch the count at 27-all. UE had gone cold from the outside while Adamson was scorching hot behind Petilos and Cabrera.

Both squads traded baskets and after 20 minutes of play, the score heading into halftime was 32-all.

In the third quarter, it was UE’s turn to get a lift from its bench as Jay-R Sumido. Chris Javier, and seldom used rookie Gino Jumao-as combined to give their side a 52-43 lead.

The Falcons still had one more run in them as they came storming back to take the lead for the first time at 54-52 after Iñigo buried a three from the deep left corner with time down to 6:23.

In the face of a relentless Adamson rally, the Red Warriors could have wilted. Maybe even used their trip to Aklan as an excuse. But this is where the buck stops.

Roi Sumang doesn’t mind saying it again – “Sawa na ako matalo.” It’s like a mantra.

When you talk about the Red Warriors, almost inevitably, there’s going to be some numerology.

There’s ‘1985’ that is the last time they won a UAAP championship.

And there’s the number ‘seven’ that head coach Boycie Zamar, who played on that 1985 title team, reminds them about constantly. That was their ranking the previous year.

“We are tired but we have to play hard,” says Zamar whose positive attitude is contagious. “After all, we owe it to ourselves and the community we represent.”

The 54-52 lead was the first and only time that Adamson would lead. In UE’s next possession, Sumang hit a pair of free throws followed by a floater in the lane. Adrian Santos scored the next three points and suddenly it was 60-54.

Brondial scored on a fastbreak layup; 2:24 to go.

With 1:37 left, Sumang asked for the ball. With Iñigo in front of him, Sumang waved everyone off; a sign that he asked to go one-on-one. The Red Warrior point guard called the attention of the referee to indicate a hand check. When he got no response, Sumang made a motion as if he was going hard. That forced Iñigo to take a step back.

It was a sucker play. Sumang pulled up and found the bottom of the net; 64-56. UE nursed that lead up to the final buzzer where the score read: 66-58.

The Red Warriors were in the semifinals (against UST).


Check out Charles Mammie's pre-game message for Adamson . And others I wrote on UE: The Zen of Boycie Zamar and Red Warriors rising

It is good to see some friends and familiar faces on the bench of the UE Red Warriors. After Boycie Zamar, there's Bai Cristobal, Bong Ramos, Billy Reyes, Nomar Isla, and Aris Caslib. Thanks for making me feel welcome, UE. You guys rock.


  1. Moneygram...WINNER!!!
    Good job in covering the "behind the scenes" action!!!

    1. I know, right? Hilarious. And coach is the best one for this team. Look at how he reminds them about enrolling because they are students first.

    2. wish there were more coaches like him...unlike from _________________ and from ____________ ;)

    3. Ay! Veiled criticism. Sabihin mo na kasi para magkaalaman na.

  2. Boss Rick,

    I think Coach Boyzie's stint abroad after his first UE coaching gig has helped him a lot of ways.