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.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

What’s next after that basketbrawl?

What’s next after that basketbrawl?
by rick olivares

Whoever instigated it is beside the point right now. The images are powerful. A breakdown in security. Fans joining the melee. Coaches wading in.

A lot of what has been built by Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan – restoring pride in Philippine basketball – with the ascension of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas with its top notch hosting and strong play has been tainted. I am not sure if it has wiped out as some opine. Maybe. Maybe not.

One thing is for sure. This is a black eye for everyone involved. There are no winners outside the box score. This is a black eye for everyone involved.

It’s time to pick up the pieces.

Could a better officiating crew have made a difference?
Maybe. But poor or not, allowing a lot of physicality or not, it has been consistent with Fiba ball. Maybe even Philippine basketball. But that is no excuse.

Cooler heads should have prevailed. In a mad minute, the equation changed.

Having said that, Fiba should always make sure that the officiating crew is top notch. This match should have been controlled from the get go. Even during warm ups there was already an incident that inflamed passions. Right there and then that nonsense should have been put to rest.

What’s left for the Philippine national team?
Following the brawl where 13 players were ejected, there will no doubt be suspensions. How long is anyone’s guess but I would be surprised if it only merits a one game suspension.

The Philippines advances to the second round of the qualifiers for the 2019 Fiba World Cup in Group F.

1.    Australia 5-1
2.    Iran 5-1
3.    Philippines 4-2
4.    Kazakhstan 3-3
5.    Japan 2-4
6.    Qatar 2-4

Having said that, we will play Iran on September 13, Kazakhstan on September 17 in the next window. With only three leftovers in Baser Amer, June Mar Fajardo, and Gabe Norwood, there will be other call-ups and even some from the Gilas Cadets. There is the matter of losing your most experienced players as well as having concerns about chemistry.

But without Andray Blatche, how do you play Iran’s Hamed Haddadi?

We have Gilas Cadet Abu Tratter but he isn’t enough. As for Batang Gilas bigs Kai Sotto and Carl Tamayo? Maybe. They will in time. In Southeast Asian competition, they are all right but once you get out of the region, they are all right but have a long way to go.

If you look to the pros, Raymond Almazan could be recalled. Who else is there? Will Ranidel De Ocampo be re-called to active duty? LA Tenorio?

We will compete but the suspensions could be damaging to the campaign. Technically, you can say that we can still compete against Kazakhstan and Qatar. But if there are lessons from recent matches as well as Australia’s loss to Japan, you cannot take anyone lightly.

After the Kiefer Ravena suspension and this, the think tank must really sit down to see what can be rectified on an operational and public relations level.

Does this affect the hosting of the 2023 Fiba World Cup?
In my opinion, I don’t think so. However, there will be questions about security in the light of what happened.

That was the worst on-court brawl since the 2004 Malice in the Palace. But that is in the NBA. In world football yes, there have been worse. But there is no precedent for Fiba. So the sanctions here will be massive in my view.

You can be sure the next home match will be under tighter supervision. Maybe Fiba takes an even more active role.

Whatever, the answers to the questions and concerns will be worth watching to see how matters unfold.




    Smc alone does not need tnt and mvp. BZut mvp group NEEDS smc.
    Lets face it, smc has the better ifnot best players and coaches in the league. The only way cojuangco will throw 100% support and cooperation is if you give him the helm of international basketball management. Look what he did with the ABL team; smc turned it around. Give him control like in the marcos years and he'd bring us back on the right track. And I'm not even fond of the faction. While Chot Gilas et al just lost it in that incident.