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, June 8, 2017

2017 Filoil Flying V Premier Cup: Stags take the fight out of the Maroons

Stags take the fight out of the Maroons
by rick olivares

After this game, people will have to take notice.

All-Filipino. No legitimate center. The San Sebastian Golden Stags bagged a big fish when they defeated favored University of the Philippines, 64-51, in the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup.

With the score tied at 34-all at the halftime mark, the Stags dropped a 14-0 bomb to start the second half to seize control of the match, 48-34 at the 5:51 mark. During the run, second year Stags forward Jason David and point guard Ryan Costelo conspired for all 14 points. Andrew Harris broke the dry spell with a put back that helped ignite a 7-0 run for the Fighting Maroons to come within seven, 48-41, with four minutes left in the third period. But Stags center Justin Mercado hit a wide open triple to ease the pressure. Jerick Fabian drilled a triple with 23 seconds left in the period to give the Stags a 56-43 lead.

UP started off the fourth and final period behind center Ibrahim Quattara and veteran forward Paul Desiderio to once more come within seven, 56-49, with six to play. An offensive foul by point guard Jun Manzo and a huge bucket by Michael Calisaan against Noah Webb and Quattara who helped out, killed UP’s momentum.

San Sebastian held on for the win to give them the pole position of Group B in the tournament at 6-1. UP fell to 4-2.

“Jason is my secret weapon,” bared SSCR head coach Edgar Macaraya of his prized sophomore player who finished with 13 points, six assists, four rebounds, two steals, and one block with no turnovers in 24 minutes of play. “Jason can play up to four positons and his ability to do so helped us.”

Macaraya also added that the defense on Manzo, Desiderio, and shooting guard Diego Dario blunted UP’s high-octane offense. Although Dario scored 11 points, they were all in the first half of play while Desiderio scored only two with Manzo unable to enter the score sheet.

He also downplayed the win as a statement given basketball observers overlooking them in favor of NCAA defending champion San Beda and up and coming Lyceum of the Philippines University. “We’re just working hard to see how far we will go,” said the former San Sebastian star turned coach.

Quattara led UP with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

In other Filoil matches, the Arellano University Chiefs won their third straight match; a 68-58 triumph over reeling Mapua that is winless in seven starts. The Chiefs climbed to 3-4 and have to win their last match and hope that some of the top seeds drop a game for them to have the chance of getting into the quarterfinals.

Arellano’s three veterans – Kent Salado, Lervin Flores, and Zach Nicholls finally all played well to tow their side to a badly needed win. The Chiefs led from start to finish with their offense and defense holding the Cardinals at bay. Arellano posted multiple double digit leads in the first half but after a Cedric Pelayo free throw cut down a 10-point halftime lead to three, 41-38. With a chance to overhaul the lead, Mapua shot themselves in the foot with back-to-back three-point attempts that were both airballs. On the opposite end, Nicholls made them pay with a dead-eye triple and a jumper for a 46-57 lead with four minutes to play.

The Chiefs held them off the rest of the way for the victory.

Salado led Arellano with 17 points while Flores added 10 points and 20 rebounds to go with two assists and one block. Nicholls likewise added 10 markers.

For Mapua, Cedric Pelayo led the way with 13 points while Andrew Estrella and Lawrence Victoria chipped in 12 points each.

In other matches, the Ateneo Blue Eaglets won their fourth straight game in the Juniors division with a 70-62 victory over La Salle Greenhills. SJ Belangel top scored for Ateneo with 18 points while forward Jason Credo chalked up his second consecutive double double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. 

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