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.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ateneo Blue Eagles win first ever Spiker's Turf Collegiate Conference

The Ateneo Blue Eagles, defending UAAP Men's Volleyball Champions, defeated nemesis National University in four sets to sweep the finals of the Spiker's Turf Collegiate Conference: 25-23, 25-21, 38-40, and 25-19. 

Watching the blue and white play this young and talented NU team (Vince Mangulabnan is the only key holdover from their title years as Ruben Baysac kind of warms the bench now), their confidence, hard won over two UAAP Finals appearances, was very evident. Even if Ateneo didn't play their best game in Game Two, you could see that they weren't rattled anymore. In fact, they looked pissed that they weren't executing the way they should have. 

Some players were simply trying to smash the ball completely forgetting that you have to place it where you can score a point. Head Coach Oliver Almadro attributes this to the gigil factor and believes his wards played at only 75% of their potential and I agree with his assessment.

You cannot of course, take anything away from NU. They're pretty good themselves. They just need a bit more experience. After they forced a fourth set, you could see their level of play clearly drop. Ironically, Ateneo was more relaxed. Maybe it was the pressure of sweeping in straight sets. In the first three sets, they played catch up most of the time. In the fourth, they simply took over the game with better execution and defense. 

There were key "bunots" for Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro -- Lawrence Gil Magadia, Timmy Sto. Tomas, Antony Paul Koyfman, and Ron Medalla. And they all gave a very good account of themselves.

I thought that in the fourth set, they began to enjoy the game a little more. They were laughing and smiling and that more relaxed vibe allowed them to play better. 

With NU's Ricky Marcos and Bryan Bagunas

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