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, September 9, 2018

My take on UAAP changes

My take on UAAP changes
by rick olivares

I’d have to say that was one of the best opening ceremonies in recent UAAP history. And how big is it that Steph Curry was present? Massive. And a huge crowd (18,535 was the announced gate attendance) on hand to boot not to mention those like me who saw the proceedings on livestream.

Bravo. Good job, National University that has really pushed the envelope.

And there are lots of stuff also going on in the back room.

I have to say that I am in agreement with the limiting the number of bass drums. I love them drums, but having too many is just adding to a wall of sound that has become annoying and at times makes the game unenjoyable. You cannot have any conversation without yelling in someone’s ear. You want to cheer, use your voices and do not let the drums cover or make up for the lack of vociferous fans.

I also applaud that finally the league is getting its own referees. This means they will only officiate UAAP matches – men’s, women’s, and juniors tourneys -- and should they be sanctioned for whatever reason, they aren’t going to slide sideways to one of the alphabetical soup leagues like nothing happened.

I first heard of this plan last year from Rebo Saguisag and Vic Ycasiano and its good to see it finally implemented this season. Now, I wonder does this mean that they will now be viewing game film after each and every game so they can determine what they called right and wrong including what crucial things they missed?

I know they held a variety of trials to get these referees. That’s good. That’s pretty much standard for all leagues and it should be. My worry though is their lack of big game experience. One game day in and I already saw some poor calls.

Strange though they went back to the changing of commissioners every year. I think they should get people of integrity and impeccable nature. Come on, this is the league’s integrity we are talking about.

I do like Saguisag being still around. It is good there is continuity. But the league should continue to work with people with no affiliation with schools. That is good so there are no biases.

I recall about a decade ago, I had a conversation with the late Bobby Paguia of NU. This was after I lambasted the league for one of its controversial rule changes. The Paguia family have been friends for a long time owing also to the late Bulldogs Coach Sonny Paguia and I being neighbors for a good 15 years. Tito Bam as Bobby was called for short, told me, “Rick, you’re right, but give us a chance to get things right.”

I hope so because for a while it seemed that the league was beset by all these controversies and temporary restraining orders and whatnot that threatened to undermine the league.

What I am also surprised at is they did away with the masteral student rule where for one to suit up for a final playing year, he had to previously been enrolled in their school. I was informed that the rule was stricken out last season.

I think it is good and I hope it stays that way. To my recollection, the last masteral student-athletes to suit up prior to NU’s Troy Rike were Martin Urra and Mike Gavino who left La Salle and played for UP in their final playing year.

Now, I wonder what the plan is for tickets. They should sell tickets for all games separately. Say, if a fan wants to watch a UP versus UE game that is one ticket. If they want to watch the second match – say, the NU versus UST match – then that is another ticket. This will allow more fans access to tickets. This means they should adjust game schedules and make them either earlier or push the second game an hour back. Whatever it is, just look into the situation of the tickets to make more available to the fans.

To summarize my opening weekend thoughts, I like what I am seeing. It should be another great season.

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