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, March 6, 2018

Profile: The UP Lady Fighting Maroons’ Marian Buitre

Profile: The UP Lady Fighting Maroons’ Marian Buitre
by rick olivares

If you have been following Marian Buitre’s career with the UPWVT, you will have noticed that she has played all three front court positions – open, utility, and middle. It was only in the last year where she has settled in nicely patrolling that middle.

Like her volleyball skills – and the lass is still working on improving her game – Marian has a myriad of talents.

Although she doesn’t play in bands nowadays, during her high school days at St. Scholastica’s Marikina, Marian played guitar and bass in a band for summer concerts. They covered songs from Narda and Orange and Lemons to name a few.

With a busier schedule for college owing to volleyball training and matches, Buitre can only concentrate on her school work where she is taking up landscape architecture.

“Bata pa talaga ako hindi ko alam kung ano gusto ko,” she said. “Ang alam ko is yung artistic side or anything that is about art ang gusto ko. So maybe interior design?”

While that is for the future, right now, it’s volleyball that is on her mind. After all, you cannot play forever. The sport is a means to get an education and well, to earn money when she pursues her license. “Feeling ko when I graduate, mag pro-volleyball muna ako bago mag board exam. Then to save money din.”

Outside the UP team, Marian has also suited up for a team in the Philippine Super Liga; an experience that she says has opened her eyes to higher competition. “Ang nakita ko sa PSL ay hindi palakasan but pagalingan ng diskarte kasi veterans and katapat mo. Sa talino ang labanan. Sa UAAP, sino mas mabilis at mas aggressive ang nananalo. Sa PSL, pagmatalino ka maglaro maylaban ka. It is about placing and a different approach sa attacking.”

As the saying goes, “sports is a metaphor for life.”

Buitre has experienced the full gamut of emotions while playing for UP. She went from teams that weren’t winning and where hardly anyone watched. “Siyempre parang fulfilling yung ngayon (despite the sub-.500 record). Naabutan ko yung walang walang panalo at kami nagbabayad ng jerseys namin. Nung dumating ang batch ni Tots (Carlos), dumami na rin supporters.”

“Yung expectations na yan (as a team that should contend), I take it as a motivation,” bared Buitre. “It is a good kind of pressure.”

In their recent match against Katipunan avenue neighbors Ateneo, the Fighting Lady Maroons put up a better fight despite falling in three sets.

“Sinabi ni (assistant) coach Joyce (Palad) na nakita niya ngayon kahit talo nagtatawan kami at hindi mabigat,” she revealed about the post-match locker room discussion. “Unlike yung games before Ateneo, lahat heads down at walang pansinan. It is okay to lose but at least you go down fighting. Kapag nag-error kami or kapag nalamangan kami, lahat na rattle and di na nag communicate. Against Ateneo, lahat chill lang at lahat kami composed.”

The UPWVT built on the momentum of the game against Ateneo against UST where they came away with a huge win and gamely battled NU for its final assignment of the first round before falling. “Malayo pa ito,” pointed out Buitre. “Hindi pa tapos ito. We’re not even halfway. May chance pa rin to be able to reach the semis.”

Despite all the challenges that have beset the UPWVT, Marian believes it is all part of the learning curve. “For me, ang pinakamagandang naidulot sa paglaro sa UP is to work under pressure and to perform what is expected of me. And to work with different people. At hindi lang under pressure not just in sports but also in academics.”

“No regrets about anything. It’s just moving forward.”

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