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, September 21, 2014

Why I think UE botched that last play and the long months ahead

That final play. As Roi Sumang was double teamed, he missed an open Chris Javier WHO HAD HIS HANDS RAISED AND IS ASKING FOR THE BALL. Javier could score at close range or dump the ball off to Charles Mammie if Alfred Aroga helped out. To be fair, Bong Galanza had the shot. It was just short. But any time you fake off a defender and worry about a second one flying out at you, sometimes you lose a little bit in doing all that in getting a shot off. I watched this play unfold and immediately spotted the missed open man. I reviewed the video I shot just to validate my initial thoughts and went, DAMN!

This appears on

Why I think UE botched that last play and the long months ahead
by rick olivares

How painful was that loss by the UE Red Warriors to the NU Bulldogs during last Saturday’s knockout match for the fourth seat of the UAAP Final Four?

I figure the repercussions will be felt all the way to next summer.

While not as good as last year’s team in terms of strength and potential, this team of Derrick Pumaren finished with a better record and challenged for a playoff berth.

They were the hottest team heading into the playoffs but poor play generally by the whole team hurt them against NU.

I thought that UE never fully figured out what to do when Charles Mammie was stopped down low with the double and triple teaming.

Bong Galanza shot 4/17 from the field. Dan Alberto who was huge in their five-game win streak didn’t score. His stat line of three rebounds, three assists, and four steals was somewhat negated by his three turnovers and shooting 0/5.

Others who should have stepped up like Gino Jumao-as, Chris Javier, Paul Varilla, and Moustapha Arafat hardly did much.

Were Mammie’s two missed free throws in the crunch big? Sure, but why count them? He’s a 41% free throw shooter. Anything he makes from the line is gravy. UE’s turnovers in the end hurt them – the Galanza turnover and Varilla’s traveling infraction after securing the loose ball. The latter gave NU one last chance at an offensive.

In their final chance to either send the game into overtime or win it outright, I thought that NU did a good job of stopping UE from doing what they wanted. As soon as Roi Sumang received the ball, he was hounded by a couple of defenders forcing him to pass out to an open Galanza whose last gasp attempt hit the back rim hit the front of the rim.

I thought that Sumang should have taken that last shot. After all, he hit a huge three moments before. Maybe the Red Warriors didn’t execute the play well as I thought that there should have been a pick and roll.

Or if Roi didn’t take the last shot then look for the open man.

Dan Alberto inbounded the ball to Chris Javier who went out to receive the ball (Sumang in the meantime went down low where he was guarded by the taller Pao Javellona).

Roi them went to the three-point arc to collect the ball from Javier. Javellona shadowed him and got some help from Troy Rosario. There were eight seconds left to execute. Sumang passed out to an open Galanza who ditched the first defender Glenn Khobuntin. Rosario flew out to challenge but was late.

Watching the play unfold, I immediately thought that the Red Warriors made several mistakes in finding their open spots.

When the double team arrived, I thought that Galanza should have immediately drifted to the left side of the arc. Mammie was on the left block with Aroga on him.

Here is the mistake. Alberto and Javier were on the right side with only Jess Diputado guarding that side. Javier flashed into the lane and raised his hands for Roi to spot him. Diputado stuck to him as Alberto drifted to an open position. Chris would have a medium range shot of which he has (remember his two successive game winners from two seasons ago) or drop the ball to Mammie should Aroga help out.

The ball instead swung to Galanza.

To be fair, Galanza had the shot. But I believe that faking off players (as he did with Khobuntin) forces you to lose some of your rhythm.

My opinion is it boiled down to execution. NU did its job in forcing the ball out of Sumang’s hands. I think UE should have anticipated that. That missed recognition is something they will rue as they missed an excellent opportunity to send the match into an extension period or even a possible game winner.

Am wasn’t there for UE’s huddle but it goes without saying that Roi would get double teamed and the idea is to look for the open man.

But that’s basketball. You win some and you lose some.

Only for UE this one really hurts in so many ways.

For the second successive year, UE’s season ends in tears. Last year, Ralf Olivares was inconsolable as he was clearly missed when Ateneo ousted them even as Roi Sumang suffered a leg injury that would hobble him for a while. This year, Daryl Guiang who may not be the most skilled player but plays with a lot of heart sobbed on the shoulder of Moustapha Arafat. Sumang, who has endured years of painful losses wore a pained look.

For the second successive year, they will be losing key components. After this campaign, everyone saw the swan songs of Bong Galanza and Charles Mammie. And perhaps in my opinion, Roi Sumang who still has a year of eligibility.

Watching UE from afar and up close, this team is good but they need a few more scorers. I think that Roi wasn’t his old productive self in Pumaren’s system. I think he struggled and wasn’t as happy. That is just my intuition.

However, I think that Roi should stay and play out his final year.

What do I think of what Coach Derrick was trying to do? I think it was good. They have a terrific coach who will guide them for years on end unless he fails to get them out of the rut in the next season or two. Everyone has to embrace the defensive schemes he is running. And recruiting will be just as important.

It will be a long several months before we see what kind of team they put on the floor and get a chance to remove the bitter taste of the loss to NU.

But for now, they’ll mull this one over.



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