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.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Looking at the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference

Looking at the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference
by rick olivares

After the Philippine Super Liga, the stage is set for the Open Conference for Season 10 of the Shakey’s V-League.

Most teams have seen their players move around save for Army that has kept the core of its team.

With all due respect to the PSL (God bless them, I say, and keep it up), I think the action will be better in this V-League. In the previous PSL conference, we saw many players suit up for the first time in a while and they were obviously not in shape. Chemistry was all together another problem.

I figure they’ll be more ready for this V-League Open Conference that tips off today at the San Juan Arena.

Here are the line-ups:

Cagayan Valley – Maria Angeli Tabaquero, Angelique Dionela, Rosemarie Vargas, Leuseht Dawis, Aiza Maizo, Kannika Thipachot, Sandra De los Santos, Phomla Soraya, Analyn Joy Benito, Wenneth Eulalio, Relea Ferina Saet, Shiela Marie Pineda, Alarnie Puylong, Paulina Soriano
Coach – Nestor Pamilar

FEUChristine Agno, Bernadeth Pons, Marie Charlemagne Simborio, Marie Toni Basas, Glayssa Faith Torres, Richelle Bagang, Geneveve Casugod, Samantha Chloe Dawson, Mary Remy Joy Palma, Tyna Louise Papa, Ilana Atienza, Gyzelle Sy
Coach: Casael Delos Santos

MeralcoApril Jose, Roma Angela Hofileña, Ma. Concepcion De Guzman, LC Girly Quemada, Karla Bello, Shedd Dela Peña, Zharmaine Velez, Maica Morada, Maureen Penetrante-Ouano, Ivy Remulla, Jennylyn Reyes, Stephanie Mercado, Fille Cainglet
Coach: Oliver Almadro

Air ForceLiza De Ramos, Rhea Dimaculangan, Joy Cases, Mariel Legaspi, Iari Yongco, Mary Ann Balmaceda, Mary Ann Pantino, Wendy Semana, Jennifer Manzano, Judy Ann Caballejo, Maika Ortiz, Camille Abanto, Gena Keeshia Andaya
Coach: Clarence Esteban

ArmyGenie Sabas, Patricia Siatan-Torres, Joanne Bunag, Marietta Carolino, Mary Jean Balse, Jacqueline Alarca, Cristina Salak, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Michelle Carolino, Angela Nunag, Dahlia Cruz, Ma. Theresa Iratay, Rachel Anne Daquis, Nerissa Bautista
Coach – Rico De Guzman

NavyKite Rosale, Cecille Cruzada, Francislyn Cais, Camille Cerveza, Shiesa Nebrida, Zenaida Chavez, Aileen Suson, Janeth Serafica, Czarina Marie Reyes, Michelle Laborte, Pinkee Fajardo
Coach – Zenaida Chavez

PNPMichelle Datuin, Jill Gustilo, Ghileen Labrador, Janine Nicole Marciano, Frances Molina, Melissa Ogana, Justyne Mae Tadeo, Jennifer Mia
Coach: Ramonita Pajanostan

SmartMaru Banaticla, Sue Roces, Rubie de Leon, Jem Ferrer, Melissa Gohing, Mica Guliman, Gretchel Soltones, Alyssa Valdez, Charo Soriano
Coach – Roger Gorayeb

If you’ve noticed some teams do not have the 15-player lineup. That’s because teams are keeping their options open should a certain player become available. Teams can add but not remove a player once they are listed or completed.

Who are the pre-tournament favorites?

Army and Cagayan Valley are tops of course. But Air Force and Smart also look good.

Why do I like Army to win it? For starters, it’s pretty much the national team. They’ve got size, power, defense, depth, and veteran smarts. That’s hard to top. They lost their first two matches of the PSL then picked it up from the en route to the championship. They are that damn good.

Cagayan Valley is an exciting team. What they do not have in ceiling they make up for in quickness and execution. They’ll have to rely on a lot of fast plays and crafty set-ups for them to beat Army’s net defense. But this is a tough team.

Air Force is much like Army except it’s a younger version but not as potent offensively. They’ve got the size to go up against Army and they’ve got good floor defense. If Maika Ortiz can get it going offensively, that’s open it up for the open players. You want to beat this team? Play defense.

Smart has a smaller line-up but I am sure they’d find the right players. So far, that front line doesn’t look great on defense. Offensively, they are good but I’d still build a team on defense. Interesting mix of players. Wonder how quick they can jell. They have two of the best setters in Rubie De Leon and Jem Ferrer. How they manage that, I have no idea. I know Rubie can play middle blocker too so if Roger Gorayeb plays both De Leon and Ferrer at the same time it’s lie having a two-point guard set up. Intriguing.

While volleyball’s popularity is at an all-time high, the jury is still out on a professional league’s viability.

The first conference of the PSL showed college players that there is a venue where they can play but that was a month-long tournament. Some of the players cannot readily let go of their day jobs for a small stipend. They play because they love the sport and they know that the entire country not to mention corporate world is watching.

The V-League and the UAAP have been at the forefront in the promotion of the volleyball. Hopefully, the powers that be, will look for a more lasting solution to making the sport really viable.

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