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, May 29, 2017

San Sebastian conquers NU in Filoil

San Sebastian conquers NU in Filoil
by rick olivares

The Filoil Flying V Premier Cup has an eerie feel to it if you’re the National University Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs started the summer tournament like a house on fire; winning three straight. Since then, they have gone 0-3; the latest an 86-82 setback at the hands of the San Sebastian Stags.

During the past UAAP Season 79, NU opened with two impressive wins over UE and Ateneo before losing two straight. They finished the first round with a 4-3 record before going on a tailspin in the second round where they won only one more match to end with a 5-9 record. That was good for fifth but way outside the Final Four.

The Stags and the Bulldogs battled through seven lead changes and one deadlock. NU looked good in the third period when they took a 10-point lead, 59-49, after a Dave Yu twinner. San Sebastian’s Regille Ilagan hit a triple that ignited an 11-2 run that saw them come within a point after three periods of play, 61-60.

San Sebastian started the fourth period with six straight points to seize the lead for good. Consecutive turnovers by the Bulldogs saw SSCR point guard Ryan Costelo drill two consecutive triples that ignited a killer 13-1 run to seize control of the match, 79-68, with 4:22 left in the game. NU mounted one last ditch rally but they ran out of time. 

Michael Calisaan led San Sebastian with 22 points and nine rebounds while Ryan Costelo, in his best game of the summer, scored 16 points to go with four assists. JJ Alejandro led NU with 20 points with Ghanaian center Issa Gaye adding 14 points and eight rebounds.

"It's good preparation that we're starting to win. Ibig sabihin maganda tinatakbo ng team. Hopefully lang ma-sustain, kasi pagod na rin yung mga bata," said San Sebastian head coach Egay Macaraya of his team’s strong pre-season showing.

On the other hand, the Bulldogs of new head coach Jamike Jarin this season are much like last year’s squad under Eric Altamirano – a young team bereft of many veterans. Some new faces on last year’s squad aren’t there – JV Gallego, Joshua Sinclair, Mohammad Salim, and Michael Pate aren’t there. Sinclair and Gallego are out with injuries. The only holdovers are Dave Yu, Matt Salem, Rev Diputado, JJ Alejandro, Chino Mosqueda, Reggie Morido, Tzaddy Rangel, Nico Abatayo, Kins Go, and Matt Aquino. Only that group, Yu, Diputado, and Alejandro are all that is left from the UAAP champions of three years ago.

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