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, June 13, 2017

Troy Mallillin on the transfer to Ateneo

Troy Mallillin on the transfer to Ateneo
by rick olivares

There are two kinds of nervousness for Troy Mallilin.

The six-foot-three checked into the game mid-way in the second period… for the Ateneo Blue Eagles… who were down by six to the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 19-13.

A Mike Nieto triple and a Raffy Verano steal and a lay-up cut the lead down to two. After another stop on the Blue Eagles’ defensive end, Mallillin, the former La Salle Greenhills standout, scored on a put back to give Ateneo its first lead of the game, 20-19.

That was Mallillin’s only bucket as he only mailed one of four attempts. He did haul down five rebounds; three off the offensive glass in nine minutes of action.

“Siyempre, ninerbyos ako,” admitted Mallillin. “First game for Ateneo. Gusto ko rin pakita kay Coach Tab (Baldwin, Ateneo head coach) na makakatulong ako sa team. Medyo lutang nung una pero kailangan agad mag-focus.”

Surprisingly, Mallillin didn’t even know his stat line as he joined his teammates filtering out of the Filoil Flying V Centre after Ateneo downed JRU, 59-51, in the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup. Expressing surprise, the rookie simply said, “Basta makatulong.”

The other bout of nervousness?

When he left La Salle for their arch rivals.

“Hindi ako ni-recruit ng Ateneo,” dispelled Mallillin of rumours that he was pilfered away by the boys in blue and white. The big man came away with Most Valuable Player honors last season playing for La Salle Greenhills in the NCAA Juniors Division. The Greenies toted a 13-5 record and made it to the Final Four where they were booted out by eventual champion, Mapua. “Sayang yun,” laments Mallillin. He admits it is an understatement but he isn’t a man for big words or lengthy answers. “Pero binigay ko best ko. Malakas talaga yung Mapua. Kaya rin sila nag-champion. Tinalo nga nila yung San Beda. So okay lang naman din kung natalo ka sa champion.”

When he moved to Ateneo, he didn’t know anyone much less play alongside with any one. He did play in passing with current Blue Eaglets Kai Sotto and Dave Ildefonso in last March’s NBTC All-Star Game.

“Hindi madali yung desisyon na yung paglipat,” he admitted. “Pero pinagisipan ko mabuti. Masasabi ko lang na komportable ako sa desisyon na yun. Mas fit ako rito.”

“It isn’t every day that you have a Most Valuable Player suddenly drop on your lap just like that,” said Baldwin during the post-JRU presser. “He’s going to be a big help for us.”

Mallillin joined the Blue Eagles for their week-long boot camp in Baler where they worked on their team building and bonding. “Nung lumipat ako, agad akong na-welcome ng team. Hindi ako na out of place. Nung nasa Baler kami, roommate ko si Thirdy Ravena at nakapag kuwentuhan kami at malaking tulong yun sa pagiging komportable sa team.”

“Looking forward ako to study and play for Ateneo. New journey ‘to.”

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