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.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Meet your Philippine team to the 3x3 U18 World Cup in Chengdu, China!

Meet your Philippine team to the 3x3 U18 World Cup in Chengdu, China!
by rick olivares

“This is a young and talented team,” noted Philippine 3x3 head coach Eric Altamirano of the young Filipinos who will be representing the country in the Fiba 3x3 U18 World Cup in Chengdu, China. “We have talented, athletic, and defensive-oriented team. They are keen on stopping foes but can score. All of them can create their own shots.”

The Philippine team is ranked seventh by Fiba.

Let’s meet the four players who will be donning the national colors in this tournament in which the sport has officially been adopted as an Olympic sport beginning with the next Summer Games.

Rhayyan Amsali hails from Zamboanga City. He stands 6'4” and currently plays for National University of Nazareth School. The lefty player is a veteran 3x3 player and is used by his coaches as an all-around cager. Says Amsali in the vernacular, “I hope to provide some leadership and insights into this kind of competition.”

This smart player adds that he idolizes James Yap and LeBron James!

Ariel John Edu or “AJ” has been named by FIba as one of the 10 players to watch out for in this tournament. Said Fiba of Edu, “He’s the hope of an entire nation. Don’t believe us? How about we tell you the mixtape he’s posted on his own YouTube channel has more than 100,000 views? The son of a Nigerian father and a Filipino mother is already 6 foot 10 inches (2.09m) and Kobe Paras says he’s got some Kevin Durant in him. If you’re not watching, the Philippines will be.”

Edu who hails from Limassol, Cyprus studies at SGS Academy in Bristol, England plays right-handed. “I’m play the forward position and am a huge fan of Jayson Castro and Kobe Bryant!”

Five-foot-ten Encho Serrano has been raking in individual awards in the past year in various competitions. That underscores his talent and potential. Serrano, who is from Apalit, Pampanga is a right-handed combo guard.

He roots for his kababayan Calvin Abueva and Russell Westbrook who was most recently named as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.

And last but not the least, there’s Juan Gomez De Liano. The 6’1” guard from Mandaluyong, Lives is entering his freshman year at the University of the Philippines. This lefty combo guard, like Serrano, also admires Jayson Castro but in the NBA is a massive James Harden fan.

Both Serrano and Gomez De Liano are also noted dunkers who can put on quite a show.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Jeron Teng’s flu game

Jeron Teng’s flu game
by rick olivares

Jeron Teng had a flu game and a Willis Reed moment all rolled into one.

The Flying V Thunder were on the verge of being blown off the court by Marinerong Pilipino who led 33-15 in the second period. The Thunder’s Aris Dionisio first provided the stand with an and-one and two consecutive blocks – first on John Lopez and then on Julian Sargent. With the momentum shift, Teng entered the game with about five minutes left to play until the halftime break.

The former King La Salle Green Archer was not supposed to play. After returning from France where he was part of the Philippine team that placed 11th in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup, Teng battled jetlag and the flu. He stayed inside his car. Prior to the team briefing before tip-off, Jeron stayed inside his car out in the parking lot. The quiet, away from the crazy atmosphere inside the Ynares Centre in Pasig was more preferable. He could have stayed home but the professional that he is, he suited up. “Am not sure if I am going to play,” he said before the team briefing. “I feel weak.”

With the Thunder on the verge of taking in their first loss in four outings as they were down by 18 and Marinerong Pilipino seemingly scoring at will despite Dionisio’s best efforts, Teng took some medicine, drank some fluids, then began to stretch.

When he entered the match, his old college teammate Sargent was assigned to him. Teng took the ball some 18-feet out and hit a fade away shot.

“That was an important shot. A big one,” later noted Flying V head coach Eric Altamirano. “It forced Marinero to play a little more honest defense and it spread their players.”

Teng didn’t score the rest of the period but Dionisio and team co-captain Eric Salamat took charge as they cut the deficit to six, 40-34, as Salamat ended the half with a buzzer-beating triple. The had made a game of it. What looked to be a loss in the making looked winnable now.

The Thunder though, are a second half team. Salamat underscored that when he uncorked a triple to start the third period. That ignited a 30-point third canto burst against Marinerong Pilipino’s 19. By the end of the third, Flying V had a five-point lead 64-59.

Teng followed his teammates and contributed five third period points. However, with the game on the line, after Marinerong Pilipino’s Pao Javellona gave his team one last taste of the lead at 75-73 time down to 2:12 left, it was Teng’s time.

Just as he has done for La Salle in the past, Teng closed out the match, scoring eight consecutive points (Hans Thiele added one free throw for the match’s last point) in the last two minutes to the three of their opponent.

Flying V – incredulously – won, 83-78.

“I felt that the team needed help,” Teng later reflected of his decision to check himself into the game. “Honestly, that first basket felt good. But I felt tired out there. I didn’t want to show it though.”

“Perhaps if he missed it,” surmised Altamirano later on. “That might have not pumped him up because he didn’t do much again until later in the third and then in the fourth. But that is the kind of player that Jeron is – he is a winner; a game changer.”

Teng finished with 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists in only 23 minutes of play. Not one of his better games stats-wise. But in terms of over-all impact, it will go down as one of his best. Just like that 104-point splurge in the Tiong Lian League when he was back in high school. Or his college swan song with La Salle when in Game One he had that game saving block against Ateneo’s Aaron Black to preserve La Salle’s win. 

“Me,” mused Teng over dinner after the game as he downplayed his Jordanesque effort (referring to Michael Jordan playing with the flu against the Utah jazz during the 1997 NBA Finals). “I’m just glad we got the win. And now, I want to rest.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Take a look at some of the pretty faces at the Fiba 3x3 World Cup in France!

From left to right: Nadia Mun, Jennifer Carmona, Maria Moline, and Claudia Brunet.

Jennifer Carmona and Rebecca Cole.

Noelia Zinna
Maria Moline

Monday, June 19, 2017

France takes down valiant RP team in Fiba 3x3 World Cup

France takes down valiant RP team in Fiba 3x3 World Cup

In one of the highly-anticipated matches of the Fiba 3x3 World Cup, France asserted its height, experience, and talent in dispatching a young Philippine team, 22-11, to go up 2-0 in Group B play.

France, earlier winners over El Salvador, 21-5, once more found its strength in Angelo Tsagarakis who finished with a team-high 14 points while teammate Charles-Henri Bronchard provided the best dunk of the day.

The Philippines looked to attack the taller Frenchmen in hopes of keeping them off balance. Paras, looking to reprise his earlier heroics in the Philippines first win of the tourney (21-15 winners over Romania) missed on a drive with pressure from his taller French defender.

France missed a three-pointer but secured the loose ball and missed another three.

The 6’6” Charles Bronchard foiled Jeron Teng’s first two attempts. But the Filipinos showed that they too can play defense as JR Quinahan stripped Tsagarakis off the post up.

But Angelo Tsagarakis found teammate Dominique Gentil for a jumper to open the scoring, 1-0 France

Teng once more found difficulty against Bronchard and was unable drive. Unable to get inside the lane, Kiefer Ravena found JR who swished a three for a 2-1 lead.

But France, as they would do all match long, replied immediately, with a Tsar long bomb, 3-2. Gentil and Bronchard hit their lay-ups for a 5-2 lead but Paras went to the long bomb the deficit to one, 5-4.
Going back inside, Charly Pontens drove up the middle for a lay-up, 6-4, forcing the Philippines to call time out at the 6:57.

With the Filipinos double-teaming inside, France’s marksmen found the range. When the Filipinos played one-on-one defense, the home side attacked the basket.

Pontens ended the match with a long two with 1:47 left in the game clock.

The Filipinos ended their June 18 matches with a 1-1 record.