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, February 9, 2018

Joem Sabandal looks to lead Adamson to Final 4 slot

Joem Sabandal looks to lead Adamson to Final 4 slot
by rick olivares

For Joem Sabandal, the Adamson baby Falcons’ star swingman, his team has just been handed a lifeline. They succumbed to National University, 73-62, last Wednesday at the Blue Eagle Gym. However, after De La Salle Zobel’s 86-79 win over skidding UST, both teams are at 6-7 with a game to spare.

The Baby Falcons will not have it easy as they face the Junior Archers in the final playing date of the elimination round this coming Sunday, February 11. DLSZ have played two strong matches in a row (they nearly piped FEU prior to their victory over UST). On the other hand, UST faces FEU. The Baby Tamaraws are in the Final Four and the only slot left up for grabs is going to be contested by Adamson and UST. Should both teams win or lose their final match, there will be a play-off. Should any one team win with the other losing, the former advances to the next round.

“Hindi ko in-expect umabot sa ganitong posisyon,” said the 17-year old of his team staying in the hunt for a play-off berth. His Baby Falcons looked to win the league last year but fell apart when hit by player ineligibility issues and the eventual departure of coach Goldwin Monteverde for NU while his other teammates scattered across the four winds of the high school basketball landscape leaving him and Adam Doria the only holdovers.

“Bago yung team tapos wala kami talagang sentro. Sa coaches namin basta lumaban kami, happy sila kasi rebuilding year lang naman. Pero makapasok sa Final Four, bakit hindi?”

For Sabandal, the Misamis Oriental native who went to school in Corpus Christi in Cagayan De Oro City, he’s used to challenges. A couple of years ago, he represented CDO in the tryouts for the NBTC All-Star Game was made. Sabandal was overlooked in favor of other heralded players like Aljun Melecio and Ricci Rivero. The final 24 players will be named to the annual NBTC All-Star Game this coming March at the MOA Arena.

Now, Sabandal is getting some props with his inclusion in the prestigious Chooks to Go NBTC 24 Top High School Player rankings. He is currently averaging 16.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.7 steals for head coach Mike Fermin.

Fermin usually hands the ball to Adam Doria in the early stages of the game. But come crunch time or when they need a bucket, the ball is in Sabandal’s hands.

“Meron din blessings staying with Adamson,” noted Sabandal. “But individual honors yun. Mas importante para sa akin na yung team namin makapasok sa Final Four. Building block namin to for the future.”

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