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.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

My thoughts on the UEFA Champions League draw

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My thoughts on the UEFA Champions League draw
by rick olivares

Group A: Bayer Leverkusen, Manchester United, Real Socieded, Shakhtar Donetsk
I have to admit that I am still not sure how United will be under David Moyes (as of this writing they are. Because of their pedigree, I want to say they’ll beat everyone except I don’t know how the team will respond or if their team is already set. It is definitely not an easy draw for United as there’s quality in every side here.

You can say that Leverkusen are flying under the radar as they are 3-0-0 in the Bundesliga under Liverpool legend Sami Hyypia (who in spite of being very competitive is a picture of an iceberg when it comes to coolness) despite losing Andre Schurrle and defensive rock Dani Carvajal, they still look good with an renewed attack behind Stefan Kiessling, Sidney Sam, and Heung Min Son. They’ve got a core of young and talented players who are hungry for some silverware.

Off to Europa: Shaktar Donestsk

Group B: Copenhagen, Galatasaray, Juventus, Real Madrid
Three-way battle between the Turks, Italians and the Spanish that will prove to be very tough. The onus is on Madrid and Juventus to win this. They got talent, veteran leadership, and experience. Galatasaray on the other hand will attempt to upset one team here and there. But…

Off to Europa: Galatasaray

Group C: Anderlecht, Benfica, Olympiakos, Paris Saint-Germain
PSG must be happy with this draw. They’ve improved their team from last season despite being at 1-2 in the Ligue 1 this early.

I like Benfica and Olympiakos to battle for that second slot. Benfica really hasn’t done well in UCL play but with the finals to be played in Lisbon, nothing like a massive home field advantage to back them up as incentive.

Off to Europa: Olympiakos

Group D: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, Viktoria Pizen
Bayern Munich’s UEFA Super Cup win shows they are not yet done winning. So the Pep Guardiola era is off to a smashing start. They’ll top this group with City trying not to disappoint.

Off to Europa: CSKA Moscow

Group E: Basel, Chelsea, Schalke 04, Steaua Bucharest
Like Manchester United, do I seed Chelsea on reputation alone? Yes, they have Jose Mourinho back and they picked up a few key additions here. I don’t think that Chelsea will find everyone else slim pickings. I am not really sure if this is the tough English side that gave everyone fits in years past.

I’m looking at Schalke, that has always played well in Europe, to top this group. Basel is always a tough grind while Steaua Bucharest doesn’t have enough quality in them to make that push out of this stage.

Off to Europa: Steaua Bucharest

Group F: Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Marseille, Napoli
This is a tough tough group. You cannot discount what Rafa Benitez might come up with in Napoli (these guys are aching to prove something to a great many people) but Arsenal and Dortmund are the favorites here although Marseille might be the spoiler.

I like Dortmund to top this group with Napoli a surprise second finisher. What does that mean for Arsene Wenger’s side?

Off to Europa: Arsenal

Group G: Atletico Madrid, Austria Vienna, Porto, Zenit St. Petersburg
Wide-open race here and probably the most interesting. David Villa (who really wasn’t a fit with Barcelona) is a worthy replacement for Falcao in Atletico and I figure he will be rejuvenated for this season and do well for head coach Diego Simeone.

My gut tells me Atletico and Porto will pull through.

Off to Europa: Zenit St. Petersburg

Group H: Ajax, Barcelona, Celtic, Milan
Looking for Barcelona and Milan to contest group leadership here.

Off to Europa: Celtic

Friday, August 30, 2013

Check out Mesut Ozil's adidas commercial

Check out the newly released adidas commercial of Mesut Ozil titled 'Welcoming Mesut to the family'. Has a touch of U2's 'Numb' and featuring Philip Lahm, Manuel Neuer, Kaka, Marcelo, Zinedine Zidane, Thomas Muller, and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

The advert was done by Berlin-based ad agency dieckertschmidt. Nice!

Bartolomes take UAAP & UST to court (re: the Two-Year Residency Rule)

Bartolomes take UAAP & UST to court
by rick olivares

The second shot against the UAAP’s controversial two-year residency rule has been fired.

Domingo “Vic” Bartolome filed on behalf of his daughter, Anna Dominque, currently 17 years old and a minor, a complaint with the application for a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary prohibitory and mandatory injunction against UAAP and UST for it’s controversial two-year residency rule.

The complaint (Civil Case No. R-QZN-13-02773) was filed last Wednesday, August 28, at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court with the assistance of the officer of Senator Pia Cayetano who has been very vocal against the rule.

The complaint comes four months and 27 days after the initial senate hearing on the controversial rule (last April 1).

In that public hearing, I was invited by Sen. Cayetano as a resource speaker after she read my series of articles (titled ‘The Hypocrisy Rule’) that was published in both the Business Mirror,, and bleachersbrew.

It was during my talk where I introduced the Bartolomes who along with cager Jerie Pingoy was affected by the rule. Mikee Bartolome is a former UAAP Juniors MVP in Girls Swimming where she led UST to the championship. After graduation, she opted to move to UP where family has gone for college as a tradition.

However, because of the two-year residency rule that was a major upgrade from the previous one-year residency rule, Bartolome would not be able to compete immediately while losing her scholarship from UP.

After that hearing, there were a series of closed-door meetings that were held to come to a conclusion on the rule that prevents athletes from immediately playing for a college that is different from their high school.

The UAAP’s response was to institute a release mechanism wherein an athlete can immediately suit up if he or she is released by its mother school to another UAAP school.

When asked why it took them all this time to file the case, Mr. Bartolome said that he exhausted all the regular channels for UST to release his daughter but the university’s board representative, Fr. Emerito De Sagon, OFP, refused to sign the release papers.

With the UAAP swimming competition due to start in a few weeks, the Bartolomes made one last ditch effort to secure then release. When it was rebuffed the other week, they went back to Sen. Cayetano’s office to seek help in filing the injunction.

Incidentally, the Pingoys have opted not to join the filing of the injunction against the UAAP.

According to Sen. Cayetano, the injunction is not only to allow Mikee to suit up but to also seek the permanent repeal of the law.

This is the second time in less than a month that the UAAP has been served a Temporary Restraining Order by the courts. Last August 16, Judge Ma. Rita Bascos Sarabia ordered UP Junior Maroons basketball player Joshua General to be reinstated after the UAAP prevented him from suiting up after he exhausted the four-year playing years rule within five high school years. The TRO on the UAAP is for a 20-day period.

In the case of the Bartolomes, Sen. Cayetano said the complaint is to also issue a permanent injunction and declaration of nullity of the UAAP’s two-year residency rule. In the same vein, the Senator also believes the “release mechanism” is still unacceptable. “It is still robbing the youth of their freedom of choice.”

The complaint was submitted to the UAAP and to UST this afternoon.

A hearing has been set this coming Monday, September 2, at 2pm at Branch 226 of the QCRTC. According to Sen. Cayetano, a decision should be arrived at a day or two after the initial hearing.

The Bartolomes hope to make the cut for the UAAP’s player eligibility meeting set for September 4. “UP is going for a five-peat in swimming,” said Mikee Bartolome. “I would like to be a part of the school’s drive to make history.”

Attempts to get a statement or a reaction from UAAP representatives proved ineffective as they have not yet read the complaint.


My other pieces on the Two-Year Residency Rule:

This is where I did my research on the students moving from high school to college.

The hypocrisy of the rule and how some schools take rejection from their own athletes.

This is my report to the Senate where I introduced the Bartolomes and their plight.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Kaya holds draft for second Kaya Reunion Match

At the press con for the Kaya Reunion Match: Justin Tolentino, team manager; David Perkovic, current head coach; Rudy Del Rosario, founder Kaya FC; Chris Hagedorn, founder and Kaya Board Member; Paul Tolentino, team manager.
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Kaya holds draft for second Reunion Match
report and pics by rick olivares

Kaya FC held a press conference for the second Kaya Reunion Match at Skinny Mike’s Sports Bar at the Bonifacio Global City this afternoon.

This year’s match that will be held this coming Saturday, August 31, at 6pm at the Emperador Stadium at McKinley Hill, will have a new twist to the lineups.

In the first reunion match, the current Kaya squad went up against its alumni team and the results weren’t pretty as the 2012-13 team romped away to an 8-0 win. Over 50 Kaya alumni showed up for that match.
“To make it more balanced and exciting,” said team manager Justin Tolentino, “We held a draft where the two teams – one coached by (founders) Rudy Del Rosario, Mikee Carrion, and Chris Hagedorn and the other by current coach David Perkovic – will have a mix of players from the new squad, alumni, and the youth teams (U-19). That way, it brings the whole Kaya family together.”

Also taking part in the exhibition match are the club’s new signings Danilo De Jong, younger brother of Global and national player Jason, who plays attacking midfielder; Fil-Dutch left back Andrew Liauw; Argentinean defensive midfielder Mati Alvarez; Australian center back Scott Baginski; and forwards Jovin Bedic and Emmanuel Mbata who played for Stallion and Pasargad last season.

Both teams will be playing three periods of 30 minutes each. The winner of each period will be awarded points that will count towards the total. A trophy will be awarded to the winning team.

Team 1: Rudy Del Rosario/Mikee Carrion/Chris Hagedorn
Anton Del Rosario
Alvin Ocampo
Mark Winhoffer
OJ Porteria
Nico Bolzico
Arama Reagan
Eddie Mallari
Kross Ubiam
Josh Miller
Scott Baginski
Mich Severino
Christian Zubiri
Kenshiro Daniels
Francisco Plaza
Ames Legarda
Saba Garmaroudi
Paolo Misa
Dan O’Reilly
Mati Alvarez
Antonio Raffles
Toshi Hosoe
Mikel Maniquis
Carlo Liay
Ramon Bonoan

Team 2: David Perkovic/Justin Tolentino/Raffy Herrera
Chris Greatwich
Marco Casambre
Masa Omura
Paul Tolentino
IƱigo Herrera
Emmanuel Mbata
Evan Santos
Rafael Plaza
Danilo de Jong
Gil Talavera
Johnny McArtor
Fabian Lewis
Kale Alvarez
Enzo Jalandoni
Woody Ugarte
Panky Abijay
Nicolas Cruz
Nick O'Donnell
Mari Javier
Joey Arenas
Janrick Soriano
Joel Dabao
Luis Sumera
Andrew Liauw
Enrique Posas

Perkovic, who came in the first month of the league season, expressed excitement about being a part of this "Reunion Match". "It is nice to see how huge the Kaya family is," he said. "To be able to add to its legacy is a big honor for me."
The Australian coach also added that Kaya isn’t done with the tinkering of its squad but he expressed excitement over the new season.



With the new signings of Kaya: Andrew Liauw, Jovin Bedic, Justin Tolentino, Emmanuel Mbata, David Perkovic, Mati Alvarez, Scott Baginski, Danilo De Jong, Rudy Del Rosario, Chris Hagedorn, and Paul Tolentino.


Read about last year's Kaya Reunion Match 

The first ever Kaya Reunion Match: The Ephemeral Vibe

I broached the idea of the reunion match to Kaya owner Santi Araneta last year and he liked it immediately. From there, I sat down with Ramon Araneta, Chris Hagedorn, and Rudy del Rosario to make it happen. Why do a Kaya Reunion Match? I was a fan of Kaya back in the 1990s. It was a thrill as a fan to be able to organize this. When it finally all came together last year at the BGC Turf, it was one of the best things I am most proud of. Thanks once more to Santi Araneta, Paul & Justin Tolentino, Raffy Herrera, and Rudy del Rosario for making this happen.