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.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Analyzing Bataan’s first round win over Caloocan

Analyzing Bataan’s first round win over Caloocan
by rick olivares

There is no doubt that the road to the Datu Cup will have to be earned. And the Bataan Risers earned this hard-fought win over the Caloocan Supremos, 83-71, that had their backs to the wall and came out fighting.

Bataan looked like it was headed for another blowout after a 20-8 first quarter blitz. Caloocan came alive in the last three quarters where they kept the game close and battled the Risers basket for basket.

Caloocan finally got what they wanted when the other players stepped up to help Mark Sarangay (10 points and nine rebounds) and Rene Pacquiao (14 points and nine rebounds) with Paul Sanga (18 points) and Mar Villahermosa (12 points) finding the range as well.

The problem for the Supremos is Bataan shut down Caloocan’s two other big guns in Almond Vosotros (five points on 1-11 shooting) and Cedric Labing-isa (six points). Granted between those two they had 12 assists, but with their playoff lives on the line, Caloocan was held scoreless in the last 1:41 of the game with the score at 80-71 after a Pacquiao bucket. Bataan managed only three points in the remaining time. Caloocan on the other hand two turnovers, two fouls, and two Vosotros bricks.

In that last 1:41, Bataan’s Richard Escoto blocked Vosotros’ trey attempt and the Risers scored a bucket off a Supremos’ turnover.

That is a key point.

Bataan forced Caloocan to 16 turnovers and scored 21 points off them. The Risers took great care of the ball and finished with nine errors that Caloocan translated into 10 points.

The Risers’ slight dominance on the boards saw them also efficiently translate them into 20 fastbreak points to Caloocan’s 12.

What helped Bataan also was their bench strength. Gab Dagangon continued his impressive form by scoring 15 points, grabbing five boards, and dishing off three assists. Two other starters also finished in double digits – Alfred Batino and Gary David each scored 13.

Off the bench, Richard Escoto scored 17 points, Yvan Ludovice had eight, and Bernie Bregondo and Byron Villarias each chipped in six markers.

Bataan had a 37-20 advantage in bench points too.

It is good that Bataan was challenged in this game and on the road too. Lots to pick up especially when you note that the Risers attempted only four free throws (while jacking up 30 treys). Caloocan only finished with 13 fouls. Whether the refs swallowed their whistles and allowed the teams to play, it is always a weapon when you get to the free throw line because you mess up their rotation and force the opponent to somewhat change their defensive tactics.

Nevertheless, it is a big win and Bataan is marching on.

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