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 7, 2017

NCAA Preview Part 3: San Sebastian and JRU

NCAA Preview Part 3: San Sebastian and JRU
by rick olivares

Here are two other squads expected to crowd San Beda and fight for one of three available Final Four slots.

San Sebastian Stags
What makes these Stags go is they have three players (five if two of them realize his potential or re-discover their game) with a plethora of talents. That’s Michael Calisaan, Jerick Fabian, and Jason David for the former, and of course, Alfren Gayosa and Alvin Capobres for the latter.

The first three can all bring up the ball, shoot from the outside, attack the rim, play inside, and play defense. All three are – to borrow a term from the late American basketball coach Johnny Bach – “Dobermans” who play hounding and relentless defense. They know how to play the passing lanes and can block shots. Everyone knows what Calisaan -- who I have said could be the second coming of Allein Maliksi – and Fabian can do. It is David’s ascendancy that has helped this team go. So many ball handlers who can create and make things happen. A year ago, that was Alfren Gayosa. He had a slow start in the pre-season but got going later during the summer.

Now, we haven’t even mentioned their pesky guards in Ryan Costelo and RK Ilagan.

More to Capobres. He was last year’s surprise package for head coach for head coach Edgar Macaraya. Every team needs that kind of player – a do-it-all-silent-assassin who comes out of nowhere to take charge. Mapua has that in Andoy Estrella, San Beda in Joe Presbitero, AU with Archie Concepcion, and LPU with MJ Ayaay. For Baste, it’s Capobres.

This year, he has greatly struggled. In fact, he was mostly a non-factor during the Fiiloil Flying V Premier Cup. If he can find his game, life for Macaraya will be easier because he will have at his disposal five players who have similar games and can play both ends of the court and are impact players. Their ability to get to the rim opens up the floor for snipers like Ilagan.

They don’t really have much of a presence inside by newcomer John Calma has potential.

Honestly, I think this team will play better if Macaraya learns to step off the gas pedal. He can be vicious verbally with his players for the slightest mistake. So they get uptight and opt to pass and are conscious of making plays for fear of making mistakes. This Stags team is nowhere near the talent level of the San Sebastian teams Macaraya played for.

Having said that, I really don’t think they’ll knock off San Beda unless someone approximates Calvin Abueva or even Rommel Adducul. You know – a stud, a beast inside.

They will compete. If David and Calisaan can stay away from foul trouble they will inspire this team. And that says it all – they need to be a team to win. Not just three talented do-it-all players.

Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers
This team went from having a very good chance to well, they have a chance. That changed the moment Darius Estrella went down with a season-ending knee injury during the summer. With an already small rotation, the onus is on this unheralded but talented JRU team to finally make a run.

This team is finally getting steady contributions from Abdel Poutouchi and Razak Abdulwahab. But steady isn’t enough in the absence of Estrella. At least one of them needs to make monster contributions in the manner of former Perpetual Help Alta Bright Akhuetie or for Mapua Cardinal Allwell Oraeme. Because that will ease the pressure on players like Teytey Teodoro (their primary scorer) and Ervin Gropse (their second best scorer but best all-around player). While point guard MJ Dela Virgen, Jed Mendoza, and Gio Lasquety help out, they need to put up bigger numbers.

Speaking of big numbers, Teytey Teodoro has been their main man the past two seasons. I totally disagree when JRU head coach Vergel Meneses boldly proclaimed that only he and Teodoro can stop the latter from playing great. As the Filoil Finals semis showed, Robert Bolick Jr. absolutely shut down Teodoro. And like AU’s Zach Nicholls, when he isn’t doing heavy bombing from the perimeter, he doesn’t do much. Sure Teodoro is able to run on the break. But that is if they can run. They need to haul down those rebounds if they want to run.

If Meneses can add to that small rotation with Ivan Mate, Karl Bordon, and Lloyd Castor (who played a good semis and third place match during the Filoil tourney) contributing then they have a chance to win.

If they can share that ball (instead of being more of a one-on-one playing squad they finished in the middle of the pack in terms of assists during the summer league), they will advance to the Final Four.

No comments:

Post a Comment