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, November 20, 2017

What now, Ateneo?

What now, Ateneo?
by rick olivares

Let’s get this out of the way.

That was a devastating 80-67 loss to Far Eastern University in Game One of the Final Four series. The Ateneo Blue Eagles didn’t look comfortable all match long. They forced shots. They were oft beaten to the crucial boards. And they didn’t stop anyone. No one.

Look at this:
Prince Orizu 100% FG
Jojo Trinidad 67%
Richard Escoto 57%
Ron Dennison 54% FG
Barkley Eboña 50%
Axel Iñigo 50%
Hubert Cani 50%
Arvin Tolentino 45%
Jasper Parker 33%

Okay, Parker didn’t make too many shots but his playmaking was solid. He chalked up five assists; tops for the game. Okay, Wendell Comboy didn’t hit a bucket but he did grab six rebounds and dished for two dimes and picked two pockets.

As we said in our preview, FEU has played three periods versus Ateneo. This time they played four. If Ateneo was hoping for that third quarter turnaround, it didn’t happen. Why wait for the halftime?

We also mentioned that Arvin Tolentino was their one constant in the elimination round. If FEU wanted to get a win then the others needed to step up. Boy, did they.

This was building up for some time now for Ateneo…. bad starts, lethargic starts, drifting in and out of focus… Of course, give credit to opposing teams for playing better defense. FEU wanted it more while Ateneo shockingly looked like a bunch of freshmen. A lot of them didn’t play well at all.

Truthfully, I wasn’t worried about the loss to La Salle. I didn’t feel that bad. They got the stops, they hit the baskets, Ateneo didn’t. This loss was bad and it has me worried. How do they break out of a slump? They have two days to figure that out.

Here’s what you have to chew on if you’re an Ateneo fan.

That is why you play for a top spot – for that twice to beat advantage. You get one more chance to make it to the finals.

The loss to La Salle you had about a week to recover. This one to FEU, you have two days to get it out of your system and try to feel good. Not enough but there is no choice.

This isn’t about Xs and Os anymore. This is about desire. They way to play a disciplined team is to un-discipline them for lack of a better term. Bump them, get into their heads, play good physical defense. When they start missing shots… then they panic. Which is essentially what happened.

Now for the first time this season, the Blue Eagles are facing elimination. How do they respond is on them. That kind of effort is not going to cut it. And some guys have to show up. Some haven’t in a while.

What they need is a good start and that they need to sustain it. This is where we find out what the team is really made of. This is the time to make a stand. 

Unfortunately, the pressure isn’t on FEU. It’s on Ateneo.


  1. Methinks they peaked even before the semis? That wasn't the team that almost swept the elims.

  2. Rick, what's your prediction for Wednesday?

  3. We Believe

    Its time to support, to pray, to fight.... and to fight fiercely ...

  4. Well, ang bilis ng balik ng karma.

    All Saturday long, I saw a lot of angry Ateneans on twitter lamenting the "poor officiating" in the DLSU-Adamson game. Sobrang involved as if their team was playing in the game.

    I found it ironic that Ateneo lost the same way Adamson did: by chucking up too many threes in the end game, when all you need to do to cut down a double-digit lead is to pound the ball inside and go for the higher percentage shots. Naturally, no fouls were called in their favor and when their three point shooting became sour, they collapsed.

    Buti pa si Chuck Araneta, acknowledged the poor strategy.

  5. Firstly, we dont beiieve in karma. It is a heresy. It isnt taught in ADMU.

    2ndly, on Referees Calls, talk to the coaching staff and players of ADU.

    3rdly, on riding along Pumaren & co.'s line on ref calls, yes we enjoyed it. Welcome to the club.

    4thly, on strategy, yes there were no adjustments by Coach Tab. They were hoping the 3 - point shooting in the 1sr qtr. would come back. It did not.

    5th, ADU did right on 3 pt shooting because they were ahead; it was a risk. But still look at the fouls discrepancy. It is very obvious.

    6th, congratulations to our DLSU bros. We hope you make it twice in a row.

    7th, I think FEU is peaking .....