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.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

UE Red Warriors power bomb JRU

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UE power bombs JRU
by rick olivares

The UE Red Warriors quickly shifted on the attack after forcing a turnover. Charles Mammie sprinted forward, sealed off JRU’s Marco Balagtas, after which the ball was quickly fed to him inside. Heavy Bomber Michael Mabulac raced from the blind side hoping to strip Mammie of the ball, but in one quick motion, the second year UE center spun inside the no-charge zone and laid the ball off the window for a deuce. Mabulac swiped at the air as Balagtas crashed to the floor. The former wore a grimace and looked to Mabulac who slammed the ball in equal parts dismay and helplessness.

Mammie would add one more free throw a few seconds later for a 78-53 lead, their highest of the match, with 11 seconds to play in the third period.

There was to be no comeback for the JRU. Any notion of an ambush was brushed off the moment the curtain fell on the Heavy Bombers’ conquest of La Salle the previous week. UE head coach Derrick Pumaren watched that game. Aside from that, he knows this Heavy Bombers team having served as a consultant to their team in the first two years of Vergel Meneses’ appointment as head coach. “Pareho lang naman halos yung sistema namin,” revealed UE shooting guard Bong Galanza after the match.

None of JRU’s shooters were given much daylight. Jaycee Asuncion was scoreless in the first period. Philip Paniamogan came in with about halfway through that opening quarter with the hope he could open that lane for his teammates. Jordan dela Paz and Teytey Teodoro fared no better.

It actually took their defensive stopper in Nonoy Benavides to get them on the board with their first three points that came past the five-minute mark.

Paniamogan chipped in three free throws.

UE also got several of JRU’s players in foul trouble in Rhyle Salaveria, Razak Abdulwahab, and Balagtas.

Not all of JRU’s problems were caused by UE. They would have greatly alleviated some of the pressure early in the game had Abdulwahab made good on three undergoal stabs where he was perfectly set up by his teammates. But as hard working as he is he doesn’t have very good hands which is why Benavides opted to scoot in for a lay-up on a fastbreak even if Abdulwahab was ahead of him.

While Roi Sumang was checked once more, his teammates finally came to play.

“We cannot get used to losing,” underscored Pumaren after the match.

Gino Jumao-as was aggressive from the get-go. He drove, fished a big foul from Michael Mabulac, and compiled 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists in 17 minutes of play. His touchdown pass (outlet) to a streaking Chris Javier for a layup at the 4:28 mark of the third period for a 20-point lead was a thing of beauty.

This was what has been expected from the second year player out of San Sebastian High School – the do-it-all player who can help Sumang in facilitating UE’s offense.

Emil Palma is also emerging as a similar player – someone who can pass and defend. The second year forward scored five points in addition to pulling down three rebounds and pilfering three balls from JRU.

Five Warriors scored in double digits for the match – Galanza led the way with 17 points. Mammie was in his wreaking crew-best as he put together 15 points, six boards, one steal, three rejections, and two monster slams. Moustaph Arafat who could pass off for a young Chris Webber had a stat line of 14 points, seven rebounds, one assist, two steals, and two blocks. Gino had 12 while Sumang added a quiet 10 points.

So unforgiving was UE’s defense was that they notched 24 fastbreak points and 30 turnover points. JRU could only counter with 18 fastbreak points and nine turnover points.

It was only Michael Mabulac and Paniamogan from the regular rotation who came through for JRU. While JRU was trying to find an opening from the outside, Mabulac had the right idea – attack the interior. He netted nine points during UE’s third quarter blitz as he attacked Mark Olayon and Arafat. Rich Marticio, pulled out deep from the bench by Meneses provided the outside sniping (as he wasn’t scouted by UE) for 10 points including two triples.

But UE was in control of this game as their first unit set the tone form the opening tip. Their power game and repeated attack inside saw them shoot an accuracy rate of 52%.

It was a resounding 99-78 win for UE (now at 1-2) against a good JRU team (now 3-2) and places them in the proper frame of mind as they head for Cebu next week in the first road matches of the summer tournament.

Pumaren said that while he was pleased with how his team responded to the challenge, he hoped that his wards can bring it for every game. “we’re learning to play together as we have new players and are counting on some players who didn’t get much playing time last year. How they rise to the challenge will determine how far we go in the UAAP which is every team’s ultimate goal.”

Big stat: UE shooting 52% from the field which is an indication of their willingness to take it inside. That is actually the fifth best showing in this tournament. Here are the other top shooting matches in the 2014 Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup:

National University 59% vs. Holy Trinity College
La Salle’s 54% vs. JRU (incredibly in a losing effort)
College of Saint Benilde’s 53% against Holy Trinity College in a controversial game where the Wildcats played matador defense in the final five minutes (that no doubt brought up the percentage)
St. Clare College’s 52% vs. the RP Youth Under-18 team

UE’s Cebu schedule of Filoil matches:
May 23 5pm vs. USC
May 24 5pm vs. UV
May 25 3pm vs.  SWU

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