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.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hope Christian defeats NU to go to Seaoil MMBL finals vs CKSC

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Hope Christian defeats NU to go to Seaoil MMBL finals vs CKSC
by rick olivares

The Tiong Lian Basketball Association might not be pushing through with its 44th season due to internal squabbles but two of its powers, Chiang Kai Shek College and Hope Christian High School will meet each other in the Division One championship of the Seaoil Metro Manila Basketball League.

Hope Christian vanquished UAAP Juniors champion National University with a 93-89 victory in the semifinals last Sunday at the CKSC court. Both squads were missing several key players but it hardly seemed to matter as their stars came out to play.

Bullpups point guard and UAAP Juniors Finals MVP Hubert Cani kept his side on top with some expert marksmanship in the first half. Cani scored 23 points on 10-12 shooting from the field and one of two from the line. NU’s zone defense was packed tight preventing the entry passes to big men John Apacible and Tzaddy Rangel who coach Steve Uy used at the same time instead of making them come in for each other.

In the third period, Apacible and Rangel began to assert themselves as they pounded NU’s interior that was missing injured forward-center Mark Dyke but Bullpups Lorenzo Miguel Battad, Jose Carlos Lopeña, and John Paul Cauilan held Hope Christian at bay with timely responses. But the lead had been cut 69-65 after 30 minutes of play.

Even with Cani helplessly watching from the bench due to foul trouble, NU continued to keep their heads above water as Manuel Mosqueda drove in against Hope’s big men for a lay-up to start the final canto. But foul trouble to their NU’s bigs gave their Hope counterparts an expressway inside the lane. Apacible and Rangel combined for six points in the first half but poured in 28 points in the second half.

By the time Cani returned to the fray he was ice cold and his opposite number on Hope, Mark Nuñez picked his pockets for a lay-up and a 84-83 lead with 2:41 to play. Lopeña gave NU one last taste of the lead with two free throws but Hope’s Kirk Trangia drove in for a lay-up and a lead they would not surrender. Kenneth Sumalacay hit a free throw to close out the scoring in a 93-89 win.

Junior guard Jollo Go led Hope Christian with 21 points while Apacible added 20 points. Rangel added 12 points.

Hubert Cani led NU with 26 points while Battad added 20.

In the other semifinals match, Chiang Kai Shek College crushed Malayan Institute of Technology, 66-50, to arrange the finals duel with Hope Christian High School.

In other matches, Faith Academy pummeled Diliman Preparatory School 91-45 behind a relentless assault on the basket as led by shooting guard TJ Hardeman (27 points) and forward-center Mark Lovatt (24 points). The Faith Academy Vanguards, defending Seaoil MMBL Division Two champions, will face NU Team B for the title. The Bullpups earlier crushed UST-Team B, 81-60.

For the right to play for the Division Three championship, Trinity upset Reedley International School with a 71-57 win while Colegio de San Benildo-Rizal squeaked past Escuela 70-64.

In Division Four, San Beda College-Alabang Team B walked over Colegio de San Agustin-Biñan when the latter arrived later to their match. SBCA will play Jubillee Christian High School that dispatched hard fighting Rich Golden Shower Montessori School 79-60.

In the Girls’ Division, Chiang Kai Shek College had no trouble putting away UNO High School, 77-36, while La Salle College of Antipolo stood tall in the endgame to outlast De La Salle Zobel, 71-65.

Finals schedule of 31st Seaoil MMBL:

Saturday, February 1, San Beda Gym
915am Division Two: Faith Academy vs. NU-B

Sunday, February 2, 2014
8am Girls Division: Chiang Kai Shek College vs. La Salle College of Antipolo
930am Division Four: San Beda College-Alabang vs. Jubilee Christian High School
11am Division Three: Trinity University of Asia vs. Colegio de San Benildo-Rizal
1230pm Division One: Hope Christian High School vs. Chiang Kai Shek College

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