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, July 8, 2013

Looking at past Ateneo Blue Eagle teams that started 0-3.

Looking at past Ateneo Blue Eagles that started 0-3.
by rick olivares

In its UAAP history, there have been three Ateneo teams to go 0-3. The teams from 1979, 1994, and 1997.

The 1979 team saw the team roster depleted because many of the its stars from the NCAA refused to suit up during the transfer to the UAAP in 1978. Steve Watson did not play in his last year. The Narvasas did not suit up either. The following year was worse as more refused to play and the patchwork team fell to 0-10.

In 1994, the team lost Ritchie Ticzon and Vince Hizon to the pros. Hizon still had a couple of more playing years but he decided enough was enough. The loss of the 1-2 punch of the Blue Eagles saw them start the year 4-0.

That team was coached by the returning Cris Calilan (who coached Ateneo to the 1987 UAAP title) and had among others, Gabby Severino, Red Camua, John Verayo, Paolo Isidro, Junie Rentosa, Stephen Santos, Brandon and Brian Sison, Ryan Acosta, Mon Tioseco, Jamie Navoa, John Palafox, Jeff Yu, Jeremy Nishimori, and Geran Guerrero.

They defeated the NU Bulldogs 84-82 on August 13, 1994 to go to 1-4. But they would finish the first round with a 1-5 slate (Adamson was suspended that year).

That year, UP (known as the Parrots) was led by Paul Du. While La Salle had Mark Telan, Juno Sauler (DLSU’s current coach), Alvin Magpantay, and Maui Roca (currently a coach on their women’s team).

In 1997, get this – the top pre-season league was the Fr. Martin’s Cup. Ateneo had a chance to go to the finals but lost to eventual champion UE (led by Braulio Lim). They finished the pre-season with a 7-2 record (they even defeated a strong San Sebastian Stags team that had Rommel Adducul).

The Blue Eagles were coached by former La Salle Green Archer Perry Ronquillo and had the Sison twins, Tioseco, frosh Rainier Sison, Ryan Pamintuan, Verayo, Sandy Arespacochaga, Mark Reyes (the older brother of later UP Maroon Martin Reyes), Sonny Tadeo (who came back to play for the 2002 title team), Leonard Montilla, Tonichi Pinzon, Paul Tanchi, and LA Mumar.

Expectations were high because of the strong pre-season showing but they opened their UAAP campaign with a 59-55 loss to NU (led by Danny Ildefonso) at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

They couldn’t get it going after that loss as they went 0-4. Then they faced a red-hot UP team led by Jenkins Messina, Paolo Mendoza, Joseph Gumatay and Bryan Gahol. They upset the league leaders 70-66 on August 2, 1997.

That was a difficult year, after a 2-7 start, Ronquillo left after he was asked to become team consultant instead. When Ronquillo left, assistant coach Mark Molina (a former Blue Eagle and current FEU Athletic Director) took over with cousin Mike Reyes (now coach for Southwestern University in the CESAFI) as first assistant.

The bad luck hounded the team all the way to the last game against UST. During the round robin warm-ups, Ryan Pamintuan dunked the ball with the rim giving way (it must have taken a lot of pounding at that point). Arespacochaga was next in the lay-up line and did not see the basket falling apart, as he went in for a lay-up, he tried to avoid it and he fell, severely spraining his ankle putting his UAAP career (it was his last game) to a premature end.

The match was delayed because of the collapse of the rim, but when the game resumed, UST bowled over Ateneo, 70-52. The Blue Eagles finished that year 4-10.

Incidentally, Arespacochaga was the last player to wear #9 for Ateneo. No one has worn it since. 


Additional reading: 

Ateneo: Down (0-3) but not out. My looking at the Blue Eagles post La Salle.

Meet FEU's Run-MRT : Mike Tolomia, RR Garcia, and Terrence Romeo


  1. A question for the Coaches:

    Why cant we use our negative to positive? Why not develop plays for #5???

    1. Because apparently, they can't hold a candle against the imports in UAAP. The other schools have realized that to beat Ateneo, they must have an imported center. I don't know what this design, started and abused in the NCAA, will hope to accomplish. Aside from it being the only democratic and free and maybe even philanthropic (for how else could you justify the dollars and opportunity cost lost to other potential locals by way of scholarships and perks) scheme of making education available to as many students from different countries (even that is debatable seeing as most of these come from just one country), I don't see any other benefit to the league, or the country in general. These guys won't make the pros in our land. They can be naturalized for future national duties but...again over-dependence on other race for the only one thing I see this serves its purpose --- a shot at glory and triumph for the importing entity, whether it be a school or a country. It's an admission of the dearth of competitive bigs; it doesn't raise the level of plays and skills of our own few and limited bigs. Imo.

    2. Yes, I agree, and get them to foul trouble, right!

  2. Rainer Sison was not a "froshie" in 1997. He was a senior in that 95-96 Eaglets who won the Junior title after a long time. He sat out during his freshman year in college.

    And I believe Eric Yao (from Xavier) also wore the #9 jersey for the eagles

  3. There was a time we had Japeth, Rabah, etc... and we lost. DLSU had only Gaco!

  4. Maoi Roca isnt coaching the DLSU Women's Team. You must be referring to Jenkina (former UP Maroon)