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.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Talking to Meralco Bolt Nico Salva

Talking to Meralco Bolt Nico Salva

Rick: How is from going to a most popular team like Ginebra and Ateneo where they have a lot of fans to Meralco?

Nico: You just feel it during the games when there are thousands watching. Sa Ginebra or Ateneo, malaking tulong yung fans especially when they come to life. Aside from that, it is just the same. It is about focusing and preparing yourself for the games.

Rick: What is the different winning a championship in college than in the pros?

Nico: Since the UAAP is three months of a year and you prepare for the rest of the year for it. It is something you want to grab right away. In the pros you have three conferences in a year so there are three chances to win. If you’re fortunate enough, you stay for 10-plus years in the league and have lots of chances. In college, you have five years and it is very difficult. So what I achieved in Ateneo is something I will savor for the rest of my life.

Rick: What for you is the biggest adjustment you had to make in the pros?

Nico: Being able to guard quicker guys, guys out in the perimeter, the pick and roll, fighting through staggered screens, and being more physical. Especially now the new commissioner doesn’t mind it. It is an adjustment. The PBA is more physical and now you’re up against the best basketball players in the land and probably in Asia.

Rick: Let’s talk about you’re being in Meralco and playing for Coach Norman Black. How’s this reunion coming along?

Nico: Playing for Meralco, to be very honest, it is something I wished for a while now. I wanted to play for coach Norman for a while. I played under him for five years in Ateneo and even before I went to Ateneo for college, I also trained under him and the Blue Eagles while I was still in high school so I know his system and what he wants. It has been good. It is nice to be with him again and Paolo Trillo is there as manager as is Gene Afable as an assistant coach. So there are familiar faces to help in the transition. Yes, there is still an adjustment earning my place in the team. Easier because I am familiar with coach. But I am getting to know my teammates. I never played with anyone on this team before. 

Rick: Not even Chris Newsome even when he was serving his residency in Ateneo?

Nico: He trained with us but he was on Team B then and we didn’t really play together. Scrimmages. A game here or there. But not in the UAAP. He is even better than he was when I first saw him. As for the adjustment with my new teammates, it is all good. I am excited and happy to be here.

Nico was my Brand Ambassador for Gatorade when I was still working for the brand. 

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