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.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Looking at NU’s aggressive interior attack vs FEU

NU’s aggressive interior attack vs FEU
by rick olivares

Of the four UAAP schools that played today, the only team that seemed to have picked up from where they left off is National University. The others seemed sluggish and not in sync.

FEU’s Terrence Romeo was in the midst of a dreadful game as was Mike Tolomia. I’d give some credit to NU’s defense on them but not too much. I thought that Romeo got off his usual shots but he just played bad and generally reverted to his old pistolero self.

In one play, he waved RR Garcia to the side to take the shot but he had his shot partially blocked and it led to a NU fastbreak.

NU, even with Ray Parks not playing so well, was aggressive all throughout.
FEU shut down the interior early on and it hurt them that Anthony Hargrove got into early foul trouble (the Tamaraws were hit by all sorts of terrible calls).

But that didn’t stop the Bulldogs from trying to attack that perceived weak interior of FEU.

Here’s how they did it.

A Mark Porter drops the ball down to Jean Mbe. The Cameroonian tries to score from down low.

B If the low post play isn’t there, he passes to Ray Parks (or whoever is occupying the spot at the top of the arc) who receives the ball outside then drives to the middle. Mbe will have moved up to set a screen.

C and D Ray drives hard then either pulls up for a jumper, spins around for a shot, or drops off to Mbe who slides back down.

E Ray passes out to Jeff Javillonar who retreats to a more open position or the spot vacated by JJ Alejandro (or Denice Villamor). He shots or fakes off a defender for a drive. If he is met by another defender, he hands off the ball or

F Passes to the new spot where Alejandro has planted himself. If it is Khobuntin or Javillonar who occupy this spot where Alejandro/Villamor have moved to, they will reset quickly with the attack coming from the wings to the middle where they have the option to take a jump shot or drop to Mbe.

G Porter slides to the top of the arc to prevent a fastbreak opportunity.

NU was mostly successful when they ran this or variants of it.

The Bulldogs scored 34 points inside on 17/30 shooting for a 54% accuracy rate.

Breaking that down further, NU was 11/22 in the first half where the Tams were 7/15 in the paint. The story was pretty much the same in the third period where NU was 6/7 (FEU was 3/10).

FEU in the meantime opted to mostly shoot from the outside. Yet… FEU almost won it. NU in the meantime closed out the game from the free throw line.

I am not saying that the interior attack was the primary reason for the win. They got a lot of points off it. FEU committed some turnovers and poor shot selection in their offensive that eventually did them in this close 59-58 decision.


Using Mark Porter to guard R Garcia, Terrence Romeo, or even Mike Tolomia reminded me of Norman Black's decision to throw Emman Monfort on Garcia. Brilliant.


  1. FEU lost because Terrence's demons came back!

    1. I agree and I mentioned it. The point of the article is taking a look at NU's interior attack. Not anything else.