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.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My thoughts on Blackwater's overtime win against Cafe France

Allan Mangahas drives to the basket for a layup for Blackwater Sports.

Blackwater Sports survived a late explosion by Mac Montilla to defeat Café France, 87-72, in overtime to get back in the hunt for a quarterfinals berth of the D-League Aspirants’ Cup.

What happened to Café France?

The Bakers had a chance to win this in regulation when Montilla missed a three. Mon Abunda was able to retrieve the rebound be he too missed a shot from the baseline.

How’d Blackwater pull this off?

Two dudes in the crunch.

Kevin Ferrer hit a triple and three free throws to notch the count at 70-all before Café France’s missed shots in the endgame. Ferrer also forced Montilla into a poor shot in the end game.

Then in overtime, Allan Mangahas sped his way to 10 points including six off fastbreaks in the first few minutes to put some distance between them and Café France. And that contributed to the huge disparity in fastbreak points, 22-10. Blackwater likewise has better finishers in Cruz, Mangahas, and even Hyram Bagatsing.

When you look at Blackwater’s lineup, they have three players who have been clutch for their respective college squads – Mangahas with Mapua, Ferrer for UST, and Cruz for Adamson. That’s a major plus for head coach Leo Austria. And all three were in the endgame for Blackwater.

The Bakers hit more triples, pulled down more rebounds (including a 21-10 edge on the offensive boards), and went to the line four more times, 29-25, but I felt that their insistence on going to Montilla when he was already shut down late in the game hurt their chances. Alfred Batino was there for scraps more than a go-to guy.

Unlike for Blackwater Sports that counted several guys picking it up in the clutch in Jericho Cruz, Gio Ciriacruz, and Mangahas. Ferrer got the job done on the defensive end in overtime. It sure is tough to guard a team with players who like to drive inside (Ciriacruz, Cruz, and Mangahas).

Café France sure missed Rod Ebondo in the second half when he was largely ineffective. The Bakers’ head coach Egay Macaraya screamed at him when he got yanked in the fourth, “Where are you? You’re inside but I don’t see you inside. You’re always outside (the lane).”

I thought that was a little unfair because Jam Cortes disappeared in the fourth and in the extension.  

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