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, August 26, 2013

UE gets burned; FEU shows they too have a lot of heart

UE gets burned playing with fire while FEU shows they too, have a lot of heart
by rick olivares

You can’t keep playing with fire.                                  

The UE Red Warriors finally learned that the hard way. In three of their first eight matches, they came back from deficits of six (National University), 10 (La Salle), and 11 (UST) to steal a win. Maybe they’ve developed a cockiness that they can pull a rabbit out a hat every time they go down by a huge margin.

Against tournament pace-setter FEU, UE looked to keep it’s miracle run going when they overhauled two 17-point gaps to come within a last shot of winning the match in regulation and a simple inbound to eke out a win in the first extension period. However, given a late lead with scant seconds left, the Red Warriors, blew it with a costly turnover and misses from the stripe. Their late brain freeze ultimately cost them the match that dropped them into fourth spot in the standings.

Having watched this UE team closely since the summer, I have noted their propensity to commit the most boneheaded turnovers that hurt their chances. They oft fall prey to the ‘gigil’ factor and make poor decisions on their shot selection as well as what to do with the basketball.

In the first period with the Red Warriors up 9-6, forward Adrian Santos foreshadowed his team’s fall when he made a terrible pass to Roi Sumang that was picked off by FEU’s Terrence Romeo.

The Tamaraws’ leading scorer high-tailed for a lay-up. After that twinner, FEU hit four straight three-pointers in a 14-2 run to take a 20-11 lead. The Tams would go on to tack on a pair of 17-point leads, 38-21, and 65-48, before UE launched another stirring comeback.

Olivares had a chance to win the game in regulation when he pulled down an offensive rebound (off a Sumang missed trey). However, his bank shot rimmed out.

In the first extension, Lord Casajeros needlessly elbowed Romeo. As a result he was tagged with an unsportsmanlike foul. Why on earth do you even need to elbow an opponent? The chances of you not being caught are small. In hindsight, you cannot even say it was fortunate that Romeo hit one of two free throws (to make it 78-75, in favor of UE) because ultimately, it was one of those factors that cost you the game.

With time down to 17.3 seconds and UE now up by five, 84-79, all the Recto-based squad had to do was make a proper inbound of the ball but Santos passed to a teammate who suddenly wasn’t there. FEU’s Gryann Mendoza snatched the ball that wasn’t going anywhere and he hit a triple to cut the deficit to 84-82.

Sumang, who has been playing miserable of late, missed a free throw that could have iced the game, but he left some change and Mike Tolomia, unguarded by a slow-to-react Gino Jumao-as, hit an open trey to send the match to a second extension.

In the second extension, Olivares gave UE a four-point lead with a triple, 91-87, time down to 3:04. FEU took the lead back after five points from Romeo and a triple from Mendoza, 95-91.

Sumang split his charities while Jumao-as added two of his own to come within a point, 95-94.

FEU center Anthony Hargrove scored, 97-94. After an Olivares miss, Santos forced a jumpball at center court but couldn’t win the tip. A foul on Hargrove saw him hit one free throw to close out the scoring at 98-84 to help FEU snap their two-game losing streak.

FEU’s head coach Nash Racela expressed joy and relief at the win while UE’s head coach Boycie Zamar admonished his team for not ‘growing up’.

What hurt the UE Red Warriors?

One: Turnovers at the worst possible time.
You can infer a lack of maturity for something like this. But some of these players have been around for some time. They should not be making these kind of mistakes.

When FEU made that first quarter run, UE hurt themselves with six turnovers.

By the second quarter, when the Red Warriors chipped away at the lead, it was FEU that lapsed into fourteen turnovers (seven in the third and seven in the fourth). Come the two extension periods, UE had five to the three of FEU.

Two, Poor free throw shooting:
Sure, UE had 44 free throw attempts as they kept pounding the ball inside, but they only made good on 27 for 61%. Furthermore, Sumang and Mammie missed 12 of them and some during crunch time.

Three, the lack of team play:
UE had only 13 assists to the 22 of FEU.

In the fourth period, UE had no assists at all. They forged the match’s first deadlock by individual performances of a few players. They finally passed the ball around in the extension periods where they had more assists than FEU 5-4 but it was the turnovers and poor free throw shooting that killed them.

On the other hand, this is the match that could possibly turn FEU’s season around. They should have won it in regulation but UE came back. In overtime, with a third loss staring at them in the eye, they didn’t blink and made even bigger plays down the stretch. Simply put, THEY (FEU) NEVER STOPPED PLAYING EVEN WITH DEFEAT STARING AT THEM IN THE EYE.

Terrence Romeo, Mike Tolomia, and Gryann Mendoza came up huge for them.

They showed that UE doesn’t have a monopoly on heart and that they have a huge share of it along Morayta. Romeo was playing on a bum ankle after he turned it during practice the day before. He also hurt once more when he stepped on Mammie’s foot. But as head coach Nash Racela said, “This game shows the character of Terrence Romeo. He gutted it out and wanted to win.”

And what a win! What an exciting ballgame.

And for the eighth consecutive game and loss to their longtime rivals, UE is left wondering once more about blown chances.

1 comment:

  1. Sana mabasa to ng UE para matauhan sila. Nasaktan ako bilang UE alumni kasi ito rin yung nakikita ko sa lahat ng game nila. Puro sila SUMANG+MAMMIE+OLIVARES. Pag nawala yung isa, siguradonf talo na. Kulang na kulang sa team work. Nakita ko lang yung team work sa team nung 1st quarter ng first game of the season vs FEU. After that, nawala na ulit. Bumalik na yung UE red warriors ng UAAP 75 na panay individual plays. Natalo kasi sila kaya palagay nila hindi magwowork yung ganung type of play kaya hindi na ulit nila ginawa. Nanghinayang talaga ako sa game na yan vs FEU. Para akong baby na may subo na bote ng gatas na sisipspin ko na kang e kinuha pa ng kapatid ko sa akin. Ganun kasakit. Sana maramdaman nila yun bilang player. Para din naman sa kanila yun. - @screaminmerkin