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.

Friday, April 11, 2014

DLSU, Letran & UV size up Filoil tourney’s ‘Group of Death’

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DLSU, Letran & UV size up Filoil tourney’s ‘Group of Death’
by rick olivares

With a shorter tournament and only the top two teams of each bracket along with the two best third placers (decided by quotient) advancing to the quarterfinals, every school in Group A of the 2014 Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup will have that feel of an important game.

Group A is a virtual “Group of Death” with defending Filoil champion University of the East bracketed along with UAAP and PCCL champion De La Salle, NCAA champion San Beda College, NCAA first-runners-up Letran, and CESAFI champion University of Visayas along with league-mates Southwestern University and the University of San Carlos.

“It’s definitely a tough group and my first reaction was, ‘paano kami napunta diyan? Lahat ng tough teams nandiyan.’ But we will take the positives from this and learn from it,” admitted La Salle head coach Juno Sauler.

The Green Archers will be fielding an 18-man line-up that will feature rookies Abu Tratter, Julian Sargent, Prince Rivero and Renzo Subido among others. Added DLSU team manager Raffy Villavicencio, “We will use this to discover our strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully, we will learn from them in time for the UAAP.”

“I agree it’s tough group,” confirmed second-year Letran coach Carlos Garcia. “More so we do not have a replacement for (6’8” center and NCAA Season 89 Most Valuable Player) Raymond Almazan who is now in the PBA. But we are looking at it for exposure and to develop team chemistry.”

Without Almazan, Letran shifts to its attention to the speedy and high-scoring backcourt of Mark Cruz and Rey Nambatac.

UV Lancers head coach and former pro player Donbel Belano believes that going up against some of the best teams in Manila let alone the country will help his Green Lancers in defending their CESAFI crown. “You will learn a lot more from playing the top teams than teams na kayang kaya mo,” said Belano. “The exposure will be of valuable help to us.”

Filoil’s “Group of Death” opens their play on Saturday, April 26 at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan when UE takes on Letran at 2pm while La Salle and San Beda clash at 4pm.


Boyet Fernandez: We welcome this opportunity to be in the group of death. This is a tough bracket but I want to look at it in a positive way as it will toughen us up. This is good preparation for the next NCAA season.

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