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.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

UAAP Season 80 Preview: University of the East Red Warriors

UAAP Season 80 Preview: University of the East Red Warriors
by rick olivares

When you look at the University of the East Red Warriors, you have to wonder what happened to this team. Whatever glimmer of hope that appeared on the horizon since Derrick Pumaren came on board has dissipated.

They started out with the promise brought about their African players then went All-Filipino. Several players transferred to other schools -- Gino Jumao-as, Fran Yu, Bonbon Batiller, Edgar Charcos, and Joshua Gonzales to name a few – hurting the team’s chances. Batiller’s departure says something as he was the first recruit by Pumaren when he came on board.

Were they able to acquire any replacement killers? Mark Olayon who first came up during Boycie Zamar’s time was even brought back.

They simply aren’t what they used to be. You get the feeling that they will just try to be physical with opponents, keep the game close, and try to fashion out a win in the end.

Oh, they will compete as they still have Alvin Pasaol but that’s it. If Clark Derige and Olayon also catch fire simultaneously with Pasaol then they have a big chance.

However, you do not want to take the Red Warriors lightly. They are dangerous. They will lull you into a false sense of sleep then zap you.

The keys to a UE win will involve their trap, physicality, and their willingness to outwork an opponent.

That last key is perhaps the most important. – outwork. They have players like Nick Abanto, Shannon Gagate, Andrey Armenion, and Philip Manalang who will flat out leave everything on the floor. You cannot question their heart.

UE is a bunch of under-sized kids who will try to overwhelm you with their physicality and relentlessness. They might be blown out but you’d think they’re in the fight because that is their identity. They are team that will not give up. And sometimes, that is all you ever ask from a team.

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