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, August 24, 2017

Analysis: The Philippines' blowout win over Malaysia in SEA Games hoops

Looking at the Gilas Cadets’ blowout of Malaysia
by rick olivares

The Philippines booted out hosts Malaysia, 98-66, from the Men’s Basketball competition of the Southeast Asian Games.

What I liked about the match is the challenges presented to the young Philippine side.

First of all, it was losing the lead early and Malaysia taking a five-point lead at 20-15 with 2:03 left in the first quarter. The Filipinos responded with a teaser of what was to come.

Kobe Paras hit a free throw then Mike Tolomia, perhaps the smallest man on the floor at the closing seconds of that frame, tipped the ball in to slice the deficit to two.

After both sides traded baskets to start the second period, Troy Rosario backed up his man and nailed a turn-around jumper, 27-25. The Philippines never surrendered the lead after that.

The second thing I liked was how the team pulled together after the shocking ejections of Carl Bryan Cruz and Baser Amer during a third period altercation between Kevin Ferrer and Malaysia’s Kuek Tian Yuan. The Filipinos led, 57-41, at that point and the unfair disqualification of the two players – more so for Cruz who didn’t do anything at all.

The Philippines responded with a 26-3 run that effectively put the fight out of the home time who bowed out of the competition. They didn’t lose their cool. They just went about clinically dismantling their foes who got the benefit of a hometown call.

And lastly, I like how Kobe Paras is gaining confidence with every game. His 16 points backed up Christian Standhardinger who is perhaps the most impressive of all the nationals dating back to the William Jones Cup and to the recent FIBA Asia Cup. He gets my vote as the national player of the year if there is ever one.

The Fil-German finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds. Not bad at all. He could have gotten more but he missed some gimmes and mostly sat around with the game beyond reproach.

If you watch Mike Tolomia, you have to admire his game. You are going to see a lot of Johnny Abarrientos in his shiftiness. He sure learned from the FEU great during their time at Morayta and their title run of two years ago in the UAAP. The way he carves out defenses with his shiftiness and ball handling control – impressive.

With regards to Malaysia, this blowout loss pretty much tells them that whatever preparation they did isn’t enough at all. And that was against the B-Team of the Philippines.

They got blown out by 55 during the Seaba to the senior Philippine squad. Sure that was their Team B but the results wouldn’t have been any different -- another laugher by a mile.

You simply cannot be shooting like that. Well, if that is all you can do then do it. The point is – you aren’t Korea or even Japan when it comes to outside shooting so what were you thinking of?

The problem remains technical. The Malaysians lack “diskarte”. As I hypothesized before, “when you grow up loving and playing the game the same way Filipinos do, you’ll beat them.” Conversely, that is true with football. The Beautiful Game is the national sport of all of Southeast Asia and much of the world. To fastrack the game, the Philippines has heavily relied on Filipinos of foreign lineage. There has been some success but it remains a work in progress.

Playing in the D-League helps but one conference isn’t enough. They should get a Filipino coach for a long-term program.

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