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.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Fen Emnas thrills to setting for Alyssa Valdez

Fen Emnas thrills to setting for Alyssa Valdez
by rick olivares

Fenela Risha Emnas is enjoying herself right now for the volleyball gods have been kind to her this time around.

Last UAAP season, her Adamson Lady Falcons bombed out and midway their longtime coach, Sherwin Meneses, resigned following a row with team management. Over at the Shakey’s V-League she found herself mostly on the bench with the Laoag Power Smashers. She understands. “Nandoon naman si Ate Chie,” she softly explains. “Ate Chie” is none other than veteran and multi-titled setter Chie Saet.

A turn of a friendly card and now, Fen, as Emnas is called for short, got to start at the setter position after Thai import Natthanicha Jaisaen was unable to take to the court for the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference debut of the newly-formed Bureau of Customs Transformers versus the University of the Philippines. BOC’s two Thai imports – the other is open spiker Kanjana Kuthaisong – have not been cleared to play pending approval of their paperwork.

In addition, for her chance to start, Emnas is reunited with Meneses who is the squad’s head coach and former teammate Pau Soriano. There are former foes Rizza Mandapat who played for National University and Michiko Castañeda of the University of the Philippines. There are former Arellano Lady Chiefs Jonalyn Ibisa, Andrea Marzan, and Menchie Tubiera; former San Sebastian Lady Stag Jonah Corpuz; ex- Southwestern University Lady Cobra Marlyn Llagoso; former University of Santo Tomas Lady Tiger Lilet Mabbayad; and one Alyssa Valdez.

“Syempre thankful ako naging teammates ko sila and na-reunite ako with Coach Sherwin,” glowed Emnas following the BOC Transformers’ three-set win over powerhouse UP. “Saglit pa lang kami magkakasama pero naging close na kami.”

Emnas finished with 27 excellent sets and following the game, she gushed. “Ganun pala yung feeling na makapag-set para kay Alyssa.” For the past four years, she had a front row seat to the power that Valdez brought to her spikes. Now she was on the other side. “Buti na lang nakapag-practice na kami kasi baka panoorin ko siya sa laro,” joked Emnas.

“Malaking tulong itong liga na ‘to kasi after this UAAP na,” admitted Emnas who will suit up one last time for Adamson. “Inaasahan ko na ma-boost ang confidence ko rito.”

Should Jaisaen be unable to get her clearance in the next two days, Fen will get another opportunity to show what she can do this coming Wednesday, October 5, against her former club, Laoag. “Ah, normal game lang yan. Friends kami lahat,” she dispels any notion of revenge. “Basta ako maglalaro lang. At mag-enjoy mag-set para sa teammates ko. At si Alyssa Valdez.”

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