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.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Bo is back in UP (Town)

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Bo is back in UP (Town)
by rick olivares

When Dolreich “Bo” Perasol was captain of the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, he wasn’t the most talented player on that squad. That honor went to Paul Du.

What Perasol was — well, he was the most tenacious. He gave every ounce and fiber of his being to what he was asked to do by his coaches. He played some stingy defense that he oft was irritating to opposing teams. He scrapped for those rebounds and threw his body on the floor to recover loose balls. He was led the team in floor burns and intangibles, the types that no one keeps stats. Nevertheless, he was named team captain. 

On a non-related note, Perasol wore #16 not because he chose it but because, “It was the only number left. It was a bonus that Alvin Patrimonio wore that number for Purefoods!”

In his return to Diliman 22 years after he graduated, Perasol is back in UP, this time as the Fighting Maroons’ head coach. And he hopes that his work ethic will rub off on this team even if his current form is far from what he was like decades ago. He laughs, “I think for me at my age, it is the will that matters."

During the last Filoil Flying V tournament, his team was ranked fifth in defense and third best among UAAP schools participating in the competition. “That is where we want to build our mark,” he says with his eyes lighting up. After all, this where he made his mark. 

“My happiness is that it is good to be home,” he reflects on being back to his old stomping grounds. “It is an opportunity for me to help my alma mater. Whatever I can help is giving back."

The Maroons had an up and down pre-season, teasing their potential. Even in this age where La Salle is expected to romp to the UAAP crown, there is still excitement as most schools have young squads and are building for the future. UP is no exception. “I am excited to see the fruit of our sacrifices of the past five months,” shares the coach who doesn’t look stressed at all. “I am sure it will not be flawless but as long as we improve on the building blocks it will be good. And do not think there is no pressure because the recent history has shown that we are like a musical chairs for coaches.”

In the months since the end of the summer tourneys, Perasol and his coaching staff have worked on improving the Maroons’ skill level. "We cannot be bigger or more talented than the others. But with the time and opportunities we have we are much improved in all aspects. The goal is to outwork the opposing teams. Or at least try to."

“We do not have the height so we will count a lot on Andrew Harris who has improved a lot. Jerson Prado is back but is still in the recovery period. Probably he will find his stride in the second half of the season. So Andrew will be a key player for us. The others can rebound like Paul Desiderio who is a very good rebounder for his size. Again, it’s all about work and working hard.”

And that has always been Perasol’s trademark. 

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