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.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Looking at Gilas’ win over Qatar

Looking at Gilas’ win over Qatar
by rick olivares

It’s hard to believe that barely a week ago there were so much concerns on “weak” the team was heading into the FIBA Asia Cup. Now they sit comfortable at 3-0. It gets harder now as the nationals face tougher squads.

Let’s take a look at that 80-74 win over Qatar.

Winning with different heroes.
While there was concern that Christian Standhardinger, one of two consistent players on the team, the team actually played well. Even when Calvin Abueva went down with an ankle injury.

While Terrence Romeo was clutch again, Matthew Wright and Carl Cruz were instrumental in gaining the lead and in repulsing Qatar.

Wright and Cruz are both PBA and senior national team rookies but they have been steady.

Wright led the team with 25 points while adding 4 assists plus a rebound and steal. Cruz scored 13 points and hauled down 2 rebounds.

Having said that, the wins have underscored the bench strength and depth.
In all three matches so far, the Philippines’ bench scoring has been a crucial factor.


As you can see, the offer the opposition no respite. And the Filipinos’ bench has been nothing short of consistent.

The defense is okay but the Philippines has been blowing out foes with its offense.
While the Filipinos outscored China in turnovers points 25-9, against Iraq and Qatar, the difference was closer -- 25-21 and 22-17 respectively.

Gilas is the third highest scoring team in the tournament averaging 86.7 points. From the free throw line, the Philippines is fifth best, making 74% of its shots. And the nationals are also the second best three-point shooting behind Japan’s 44.4 with 42.0%

All three stats are better than any of those in Group B.

However, there is one bit of concern.
The game against Qatar was the second where the Philippines raced to a huge lead and lost it. The lead was huge enough a buffer though.

This is something though that I am confident the coaching staff can fix.

On to the next round now!

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