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, July 28, 2017

Coach Chot Reyes’ thoughts after Day 1 practice for Sea Games

Coach Chot’s thoughts after Day 1 practice for Sea Games
by rick olivares

The members of the Philippine Men’s National Basketball Team assembled at the Upper Deck Sports Center in Pasig City for the first day of practice for the Fiba Asia Cup (that will take place in Lebanon from August 15-27) and the Southeast Asian Games that will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from August 19-30.

In attendance were veterans Japeth Aguilar, Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, and Terrence Romeo as well as cadets Carl Bryan Cruz, Ed Daquioag, Alfonso Gotladera, Jovani Jalalon, Raymar Jose, Ray Parks, Roger Pogoy, Kiefer Ravena, Christian Standhardinger, Matthew Wright, and Almond Vosotros.

The team worked on some drills essential to its dribble drive offense after which former Thailand coach Tim Lewis (who coached the latter during the recent Seaba tournament) taught some of his defensive schemes to the squad.

“The getting to know you was for Christian (Standhardinger) as he got to practice with June Mar, Terrence, Jayson, Gabe, and Japeth. That was the main getting to know you,” pointed out Reyes.

Regarding Lewis’ involvement, Gilas’ head coach professed an admiration for the Englishman who learned his basketball in the United States among many other countries. “We’ve been talking since Seaba. He’s doing some work for Talk ‘N Text. I said since he’s in town, and since he wanted to watch Gilas practice, might as well take advantage of his knowledge. There are things that he does that we feel will be useful for us.”

Of concern for Reyes and his coaching staff is the overlapping of tournaments with the Fiba Asia and the Southeast Asian Games all taking place at the same time. “Ngayon lang nangyari yun,” dryly noted Reyes.

The first 27-stagings of the biennual SEA Games were held late in the year – either November or December. However, beginning with the 28th games held in Singapore in 2015, the tournament was moved to an earlier time schedule in accordance to the international calendar.

Addressing the absence of Andray Blatche even for the upcoming Fiba Asia Cup, Reyes, said, “I think he (Andray) is going to issue a statement soon. There’s absolutely no reason because we waited and we waited. They couldn’t give a confirmation soon. The deadline passed. So we have to make a decision.”

Reyes also pointed out to the problem that Cruz and Standhardinger who will pull double duty in Lebanon and Kuala Lumpur.

“If we go to the semi-finals, that means we will play up to Aug 20, that means they are not play in the first game of the Sea Games. That is going to be a problem. The good thing is the Sea Games format there is a semi-finals and the finals, we could afford to lose a game. We’re playing Thailand right away. Not that we are planning to. But we can afford but still get back at them in the semi-finals or the finals. If we get to the finals of course.”

“The tough part of this Fiba Asia,” added Reyes “is we are going to a war na hindi kami kumpeleto. That is why the cadets are going to be very important so we can get enough bodies in practice.” Reyes also added that he will not get his full line-up until the team leaves as all the players still have games with their mother clubs.

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