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.

Friday, May 12, 2017

2017 Seaba Special: Singapore looks to compete and build for the future

Singapore looks to compete and build for the future
by rick olivares

The Singapore Men’s National Basketball Team flew into Manila with a quiet confidence in their abilities and firm goals in mind.

Singapore’s Australian head coach Franco Arsego summed it up, “We didn’t just come here to participate but to compete. We might not have the materials of other teams like the Philippines but to expose our youth and to lay a foundation for the Sea games is good for the program that we are undertaking.”

Team captain Hanbin Ng understands the enormity of the task: “We have a lot of young players so we will try to soak in as much experience as we can.”

Basketball has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade in the Lion State. “It has been growing quite a bit from a decade ago,” shared Ng. “Six years we managed to win our first bronze medal after 34 years of drought. That galvanized a lot of support for Singapore basketball. Now there are more sponsors and support from the crowd.”

Arsego concurs, “In the past if you come to a basketball game, over the years we have grown so much we have achieved in Sea Games and the Asean Basketball League. With this tournament in Seaba, we hope to continue to build on our gains.”

“I had an opportunity to work in Singapore from 2008-10 and have seen the massive growth and the interest and support. Our pro team Singapore Slingers has had success and that has spurred great interest. But for me as a basketball coach, it is also gratifying to see the locals come out and watch. And this is football country. So the growth of the game of basketball has been fascinating.”

The fact that the Philippines is favored to win the Seaba tournament has not dimmed Singapore’s outlook. “You can say it is the same for the Philippines in football, a rising power that has had its success and setbacks. For us, it is the same in basketball. It is good that the competition is growing. At the end of the day, we hope to make Singapore proud.”

Singapore captain Hanbin Ng

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