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.

Monday, June 10, 2013

So much for defending the crown (the Ateneo Blue Booters lose four key freshmen)

The good times have rolled. Last year with the Ateneo Men's Football Team before the championship victory over UP.

So much for defending the crown
(The Ateneo Blue Booters lose four key freshmen)
by rick olivares

So much for defending the crown. Last year’s surprise UAAP Men’s Football Champions, the Ateneo Blue Booters, are heading into Season 76 minus four stalwarts who helped secure the blue and white’s sixth league title.

Lost due to academics are goalkeeper Nick O’Donnell, midfielders Val Calvo and Eric Figueroa, and Emilio Pelaez.

The team is already without co-captain Miguel Tuazon who already graduated. There is also talk that some other players might not even suit up because they will concentrate on their studies.

It’s a huge blow to the team as all four of them are not only starters but are freshmen who are expected to lead the team for the next few years.

The team will also lose its assistant coaches – Ryan Marinay to the University of the East, his alma mater that has asked him to take over as head coach, and Joesil Macalisang who will be returning to his province.

Of all of Ateneo’s varsity team’s the most vulnerable have been the men’s football team. After the 2006 championship, the team lost frosh defender Jerome Reyes. Over the next few years, the Blue Booters lost keeper RS Mantos for one season (he passed the minimum grade required to play in the UAAP but not Ateneo’s minimum QPI) as well as the talented Ale Rivera and Mikko Manglapus.

The team asked midfielder Anton Amistoso who already graduated if he’d like to comeback but he just started in his new job and it doesn’t look good to put that off for a year of football.

How this team rebuilds will be interesting. They will still have super super senior Yu Murayama who could play goalkeeper or a field position, midfielders Emman Paredes, Mikko Mabanag and Carlo Liay, and defenders Enzo Bonoan and Jico Noel to name a few.

With the loss of such key players, one should look at Far Eastern University to be top favorites to annex the Season 76 crown. And you cannot discount La Salle, UP, or UST. National University has a promising team as well.


I am absolutely gutted by this. Dammit. When Ateneo landed Nick O'Donnell, I felt that we had landed the next great goalkeeper. He was superb during Season 76 even outdueling La Salle's great Patrick Deyto. Val Calvo is another very good attacking midfielder who gave the Blue Booters speed up and down the flanks. The last time we had that kind of speed, Zaldy MaraƱon was still playing and that was in 2006! This is simply a terrible terrible loss. We didn't just lose them for this season but for the next few years. 

Last year, we had a smart and efficient team that dismantled foes with defense and hustle. Now with all the loses that has changed. The new team will have to discover who they are in a hurry.


  1. At the risk of sounding arrogant, how hard is it to hit the QPI requirement?

    1. The answer there, Carlo, is -- it depends on a student's priorities and mindset. If they have their head screwed on right then they can make it. If not...

    2. Ouch, 4 players gone due to academics? And I thought what happened to my team a few years back was nasty. As a student, you sometimes feel that you can excel in either your sport or academics only; what we need to make more obvious is that you can have both with some conscious effort. You're not wearing the Blue and White because you got lucky.

  2. Academics is part of the football training regimen. You have to train as hard on or off the pitch. It can be done.

  3. Sorry loss of key players. There are 5 good players coming in from AHS who have had good exposure in the UFL 2nd div with Agila FC. One of them is Robbie Andres who is a teen azcal. Two strikers form other schools also coming in as freshmen but may have to serve their residencies. The rebuilding has begun but it will probably take 2 years to reap.

  4. Brave move for Ateneo for doing the right thing. It sends a message to the athletes that they are student first. It also showed the school's priorities.

    I just want to clarify things. Are these four players kicked out or were just suspended from playing football (to concentrate from their studies)? If the latter, do they have the chance to return to the team since the Football tournament is held in the second semester?

    1. From what I hear they were kicked out of the school, since they did not meet the minimum University requirement. I hope I am wrong but this comes from a very reliable source (former blue booter who will play this coming season)

  5. Re Ateneo freshman QPI - In order to pass first year college, a freshman must meet a minimum QPI of 1.8 (over a perfect 4.0) by the end of the freshman academic year. If a freshman does not meet the 1.8 QPI, he may opt to:
    1. transfer to another school, in which case the student is discharged; or
    2. file an application for probation. If his application is not granted, see no. 1. If his application is granted, he is allowed to enroll for 2nd year but will be on probationary status.

    An Ateneo freshman could be a brilliant student and do very well at recitation and tests/exams but unfortunately not meet the academic minimum 1.8 QPI due to several reasons, including exceeding the allowed number of absences per sem (9 absences per subject) and tardiness (2 instances of tardiness = 1 absence). Professors and class beadles are strict about these. The Ateneo counts it as an absence/tardiness from class even if it is due to reasons which would otherwise be considered valid, such as illness, accident, hospitalization, a family emergency, if one was stuck at the MRT/LRT or stranded at the airport, etc. That rule might be considered harsh but that is the rule.