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 12, 2016

Analysis: FEU 75 vs. Adamson 65

Analysis: FEU 75 vs. Adamson 65
by rick olivares

This was a big win for Far Eastern University. Even if they played a good game during their season debut against La Salle where they underscored the fact, that even sans their graduated stars, they are still a force to be reckoned with, they needed a W in the standings. 

They bagged a big fish, er, shot down, the high-flying Adamson Falcons down to earth and here’s how we look at it. 

Here’s how FEU beat Adamson.

The Tamaraws repeatedly attacked the interior of Adamson. In our pre-tournament preview, we cited that Adamson has problems when center Papi Sarr (11 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists) cannot get into the game and gets into early foul trouble. Without that rim protector, they are easy pickings for the Tamaraws who have a lot of players who can get to the rim or who have a low post game — Prince Orizu, Raymar Jose, Monbert Arong, Richard Escoto, and former Adamson player, Axel IƱigo. 

From the opening quarter, it was evident that was their intention. FEU scored six points inside to the zero of Adamson. The Soaring Falcons got eight points from the perimeter indicating that was all they were afforded. FEU’s aggressiveness inside saw Adamson get into early penalty situation from the second to the fourth quarters. And they had six and-one attempts to the two of the Falcons. FEU’s 42-20 advantage in points in the paint and 23 offensive rebounds that netted 18 second chance points that underscored the battle plan. 

They stopped Rob Manalang and Jerrick Ahanmisi. Basic. Stop the two guys capable of lifting Adamson. This was the obvious tactic, one that NU later employed against Ateneo by shutting down Aaron Black and Thirdy Ravena. Ahanmisi showed his class as a player by still leading Adamson in scoring with 19 points yet on 50% shooting! Incredible. He didn’t get a lot of threes as he only hit one but he did make a living inside with his willingness to get inside the lane. He is showing that he is going to be a real prime time player.

On stopping players, it sure hurt Adamson that their bigs - Sarr, Dawn Ochea, Simon Camacho, and Sean Maganti got into foul trouble.

The Tams stopped Manalang cold - 9 points and one assist! He had nine dishes versus UP. Terrence Mustre came in and chipped in some points at the one-spot but he was looking to score more than to set up teammates. He ended up with 10 points but zero assists. 

But the most obvious stat to look at is FEU held Adamson down to 65 points considering the Falcons scored 104 on opening day! 

And the Tams weathered an early third quarter fightback by Adamson. From a 32-28 halftime deficit, Adamson came out of the third period with a lot of energy and renewed sense of purpose. They took a brief 38-37 lead with a Sean Maganti jumper but that was it. FEU regained control by pounding the ball inside and because Richard Escoto stuffed them.

The match-up between Escoto and Maganti was crucial. It went the veteran Escoto’s way today but this is going to be a great match-up for years to come because they can be impact players and lynchpins for their team. When I look at Maganti, I see - for a lack of a better term — a poor man’s JC Intal. Incredibly long wingspan. Can shoot although rather erratically, can get to the rim with nifty moves, and can finish. Plus, he can play defense. 

This match-up during the third period went on for several possessions and swung the tide for FEU. After Maganti’s basket, Escoto split his free throws. Sean blocked Richard but he got the ball back and scored underneath in that same possession. Escoto later fished a foul from Sean n which he split his free throws. Escoto fouled Maganti but he promptly missed his two free throws. When the dust settled after the third period, FEU had padded their halftime lead of four to eight, 53-45. The match up continued up to the fourth but Escoto came away with crucial points.

The match up
Richard Escoto - 13 points, 5 rebounds (all offensive boards)
Sean Maganti - 6 points, 7 rebounds (3 offensive), 1 steal, and 1 block.

FEU also got massive contributions from the bench 48-25 with many players stepping up. Tamaraws head coach Nash Racela addressed the question of a lack of a go-to player. Maybe it’s good or maybe it’s bad he said. There isn’t anyone at the moment but they will need that person or persons soon.

Anything positive that Adamson can take away?

Sure — Jerrick Ahanmisi. As he grows into the Philippine college game, he will get better and better. Plus, Sean Maganti. He is going to be a very important player not only for this team but given the right break and improvement in his game, who knows? 

The Tamaraws showed the rest of the league how to play the Falcons and they are flush with confidence after two solid outings (now they face an Ateneo team that faces all sorts of questions). The question now is how does Adamson respond to this.


  1. Excellent article. The analysis is more impressive than all the articles I've read about the game between FEU and Adamson. I saw what you saw: the inside game of FEU and their success in stopping Ahanmisi and Manalang. I was also impressed by your comments on Maganti. It should also be added that there were some judgmental error and poor free true on the part of Adamson.

    1. Thanks! Appreciate it. I think I have a keen eye for the game and its details. I could probably do more if I didn't have to keep running scores. But you should see my notebook. It's jammed with notes, observations etc