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, December 9, 2013

Hope Christian High School survives furious Ateneo Blue Eaglets rally to stay undefeated in MMBL play

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It was a battle between controversial high school power Hope Christian High School and Ateneo High School (minus their high school seniors and featuring their underclassmen and aspirants) at the Metro Manila Basketball League games last Sunday, December 8, at the San Beda Gym in Manila. 

Hope Christian was unable to warm up as they were receiving last minute instructions from their coaching staff but they hardly needed it as point guard Jolo Go drilled a three-pointer on their very first possession. Mike Nieto swished an 18-foot jumper for his only points of the game as he took a wayward elbow that re-arranged his front teeth a few minutes later.  Nieto's sudden departure (he would not come back) affected the Blue Eaglets game. With Tzaddy Rangel scoring inside against Team A hopeful Jossier Hassan and Go and gunner Arjan dela Cruz and forward Jobert Mercado scoring on daring drives to the basket, Hope Christian raced to a 22-point lead. With the game comfortably in hand, HCHS didn't even see the need to field graduating big man John Apacible. 

By mid-third quarter, the Blue Eaglets finally hit their stride when Jolo Mendoza, Matt Nieto, and Joven Salandanan caught fire. They hit four consecutive jumpers including two triples from Salandanan who kept Ateneo in the game in the first half with his deadeye shooting. He was 5-7 from three-point range. 

The late stages of the game saw a battle between the Jolos -- Jolo Go of Hope Christian and Jolo Mendoza of Ateneo. With the 22-point lead slashed down to 10 and HCHS on their heels, when back-to-back turnovers somewhat stifled their momentum as Go hit back-to-back treys and Apacible was sent in. HCHS's usual starting big man scored 11 points in the fourth period alone. He also scored on a brilliantly executed alley-oop off a baseline inbound that underscored his athleticism. 

Although Jolo Mendoza won the mano-a-mano battle with Go as he went a scintillating 6-7 from the field in the fourth including a turn around jumper from the baseline over Jobert Mercado who was all over him, HCHS took the game 78-67 to remain undefeated at 2-0 in MMBL play while Ateneo A fell to 1-1.

Jolo Go and Jobert Mercado led Hope Christian with 18 points each while Arjan dela Cruz added 16 and John Apacible finished with 12.

Ateneo was led by Jolo Mendoza's 21 points while Joven Salandanan added 17 with Matt Nieto finishing with 16.

Here are other MMBL results from last Sunday:
Saint James Academy Malabon def. Southridge C 68-47
Escuela def. San Beda C 83-77
OLFU def. Adamson A 72-71
UST A def. San Beda B 74-70
CKSC A def. San Beda A 75-71
CDBS def. SMCL 82-76
TUA def. Southridge B 71-36
Southridge A def. SBIS 65-56
NU C def. STMA 83-53
COSB-R def. SBIS 86-36
MIT def. UPHDS 62-40
DPS def. MPS 60-56
Jubilee def. QCSHS 76-41 

The games of the 31st Metro Manila Basketball League, the third oldest high school basketball competition after the NCAA and the UAAP are played every weekend at San Beda Gym, Faith Academy, and at the International School Manila.

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