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 3, 2013

Korea wins but Malaysia gains some respect

This appears in the Sunday August 4, 2013 edition of the Business Mirror.

Korea wins but Malaysia gains some respect
by rick olivares

Korea defeated Malaysia 80-58 in the first match of Day Three of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships at the Mall of Asia Arena. While the match wasn’t anything like the massive blowouts that Malaysia suffered at the hands of Iran and China in the competition’s first two days, Korea head coach Yoo Jae Hak pronounced himself “satisfied.”

Through an interpreter, Yoo said that they looked at this match as a “practice game”.

“There is no need to go hard when we know that there are bigger battles to fight in the next few days,” reasoned Yoo who downplayed ‘the close match.’

Despite taking in its third straight loss in Group C, “the Group of Death”, Malaysia felt more upbeat as they gamely battled Korea. At one point, they whittled down a double-digit lead to eight points following a triple by Kuek Tian Yuan. But Korea answered with a 10-0 explosion anchored on power forward Lee Seung Jun who attacked the rim with abandon en route to 18 points to lead Korea.

The Koreans finished the group stage with a 2-1 record. Should Iran defeat China, they’ll place second in the group.

Following the match, Malaysia head coach Teh Choon Yean lead his team in a post-game huddle yelling, “For Jackie” in honor of their late teammate Jack Ng Kiat. The Malaysian team, all 11 players left and the coaches, replied three times with a thunderous, “For Jackie!”

Said Teh on his way to the dugout, “We received a lot of criticism back home for our loses.” What we talked about is that as long as we believe in ourselves and play hard. We can show everyone that we can play the game. I think we showed that today.”

Kuek led Malaysia with 25 points. The 58 points put on the board by the Malaysians is more than they scored collectively in their first two matches.

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