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.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

On the UST-Bong Dela Cruz controversy: The truth is out there. Somewhere.

This appears on

The truth is out there. Somewhere.
by rick olivares

In previous years it was FEU that was plagued with all sorts of on and off court troubles that it bordered on the ridiculous. In recent years, UST has supplanted the Tamaraws with the team with the most troubles.

What is out there.
Following a complaint, second year head coach Bong Dela Cruz was asked to stay away from the team by the Office of the Rector pending an investigation.
An article appeared online last January 28 with no byline saying that Dela Cruz had been fired, the team was beset by allegations of game fixing and physical abuse. The team was supposedly disbanded.
An article appeared on the website of the Varsitarian, UST’s school newspaper, last January 29, citing various former players who complained about the physical abuse from Dela Cruz.
And last February 1, Dela Cruz broke his silence by emailing his statement to media citing a clear conscience and he had done nothing wrong.

What we heard from various sources close to or within the program.
This started out with a complaint by a Team B player about a Team A player. This Team B player was asked by someone close to the team to file a complaint. Some say this person has an ulterior motive. What do I know? That is just what they say.
Upon investigation, it escalated. A Pandora’s box of “concerns” were unearthed.
Game fixing
Physical abuse/maltreatment
Misuse of team funds
This started out with only a few people in the know but some people couldn’t keep their mouths shut that word spread with so much embellishments.

What is certain.
Something did happen and this has to do with maltreatment.
Bong Dela Cruz hasn’t been fired yet.
This whole thing has blown up in ways people did not imagine.

Why this is fishy.
As early as Season 77, the players didn’t like Dela Cruz because of his propensity for severe tongue lashing of his players. That was evident especially on the sidelines during games of that season. He was supposedly on the way out but the powers that be kept him. 
However, by Season 78, things had somewhat gotten better between the coach and his players.
Dela Cruz’ contract is expiring and all this is happening.
If there are allegations of game fixing, why didn’t this come to a boil post championship in November of 2015 after the Finals? Why only now?
Why are there so many stories going around? Or is this really like the PDAF scandal that opened up a can of worms? There are now more plotlines in UST than the X-Files left dangling from its previous television run.

There are a few questions that need answering.
So what is the real “issue” or “issues?” 
Is there a demolition job going on?
Who stands to benefit from this and if ever a coaching change? 
Why is this happening to UST in startling regularity? 
Anyone remember Season 76? That wasn’t too long ago.

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