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.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Them Adamson Soaring Falcons

Them Soaring Falcons
by rick olivares

It was not a perfect routine as the Adamson University Pep Squad had a few boo boos. I’ll say this though – it didn’t detract to what was a most enjoyable performance. They were tops in stunts and pyramids and scored high in the dance category. They had the fewest deductions and penalty points. Thus, and rightly so, they are the 2017 Cheerdance Competition champions.

Take a bow, team! Good job.

Yes, the Adamson Pep Squad had me from the get-go… the Manila Sound of the 1970s (I grew up during that decade and finished my education the following decade of the 1980s so the music is something I totally dig). I was waiting for them to dance some swing which they briefly did and that’s a treat for the young to appreciate. Summing up their performance, they were a joy to watch.

What a win though… and you know that their third place finish the previous year was no fluke. It is good that in recent years National University and now Adamson and the University of the East have done well in the CDC rocking a competition that was ruled by the University of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas.

If you look at Adamson as a school, there’s a renaissance going on. Their men’s basketball team has two years running made the Final Four (and the addition of Franz Pumaren is huge because they bagged a top quality hoops mind). Their juniors hoops squad should have won last year’s cage title but they gambled on continuing to field Encho Serrano who was declared to be ineligible because of a quibble in his paperwork. As a result, their wins were overturned and they went from being the league’s best to being dead last. Personally, I sided with them and thought it was an injustice. It wasn’t like the school and team management was being dishonest but that’s an altogether another discussion that is all dead.

Their women’s volleyball team showed signs of life this past Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference especially with the huge addition of Christine Soyud who has given head coach Airess Padda – a tremendous breath of fresh air from the rather dour and staid coaches that we have -- a reliable offensive weapon and the return of setter Fen Emnas (whose sitting out the previous year turns out to be fortuitous). And I’ll add they too were fun to watch. It would be interesting to see how they translate that strong play come the UAAP tournament.

And I think it is good for Adamson. Why let all the traditional powers have the fun? There is room for everyone including UE that crashed the CDC podium party with a third place finish! Now there’s another feel good story for the league and a downtrodden team (generally to be precise). UE finished fifth the previous CDC competition and now they landed in third place!

On a side note, six years ago, NU placed third and the following year, they catapulted all the way to the top. If UE accomplishes the same feat, that’s going to be another whopper of a story.

Adamson too has started to land some high profile recruits. Now if they can only hold on to them especially those coming from their high school. In recent years, they lost Matthew Aquino who transferred to NU and JD Tungcab who is now with UP. Tungcab is the second high profile Falcon to go to Diliman in recent years with the first being Mark Juruena (although he didn’t have a very good career with the Fighting Maroons).

A word of caution though. While the school is leveling up in terms of athletics, I do hope that they also do the same for the quality of education and a strict adherence to academics. We all know that there aren’t many professional leagues that can sustain an athlete’s goals or earning capacity. A degree and know-how will help these kids cope with a harsh and competitive world out there.

Nevertheless, I guess that’s part of the challenge for Adamson. However, right now, they’re soaring. And that is all good.


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