Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bring home the batchoy

Eighteen young footballers from Don Bosco College, Sacred Heart School-Jesuit, Abellana National School, Center for International Education and Cebu International School will try to showcase the best of age group football in Cebu in the biggest stage in the country (it's not Manila, it never is)--in Iloilo.

Here's Ronaldo's post at the forums at

" The most awaited matchup in the U15 division will start at 9am sept.13 when traditional powerhouse iloilo province-manned by Barotac and Sta.Barbara players-clashes with Cebu City-manned by the core of the Don Bosco team that won the 2006 Palarong Pambansa elementary title and reinforced by players from Cebu International School, Paref-Springdale, Sacred Heart School-Jesuits, Abellana National High School and Centre for International Education.

The Glen Ramos coached Cebu Team will try to do what no Cebu Team has been able to do in recent past - top an age-group full sided tournament in Iloilo soil. The team is confident of performing well, and with the homecrowd at LaPaz Football field expected to root loudly for the home team, it surely will be an epic battle.

The Iloilo Province team hasn't arrived yet in the city, perhaps holding it's cards close to it's chest so that no one can scout their team. Cebu arrived early this morning and watched the NOFA vs Iloilo City U15 match. Futboleros eyed the Cebu team as they made their way to the grandstand, thinking perhaps that this may be the team that will snatch bragging rights as the premier U15 squad in the country.

Tournament organizers scanned the final lineups of both teams during yesterday's coaches meeting, with everyone admitting that these are equally matched teams. But in a clash of titans, a draw would be a disappointment. Something has to give, and both teams are hoping they won't be at the receiving end of an estatically scored goal.

The Cebu City Football Team

1. Rikko de Guzman-team captain Don Bosco
2. Leonard Tan - Don Bosco
3. Joshua Cruz - Paref-Springdale
4. John Daniel Caballero - Don Bosco
5. Charles Caballes - Don Bosco
6. Jericho Christian Noel - Don Bosco
7. Miko Limalima - Don Bosco
8. Prince Antony - Abellana National High School
9. Peter Ricamora - Don Bosco
10. Winrich Baclay - Don Bosco
11. Karl Arcenas - Sacred Heart School-Jesuits
12. Thomas Booth - Cebu International School
13. Jules Villahermosa - Centre for International Education
14. James Eric Nacorda - Don Bosco
15. Gwynfrey Abello - Don Bosco
16. Angelico Ramirez - Don Bosco
17. Emmanuel Cunningham - Cebu International School
18. Kenneth Young - Paref-Springdale


ronaldo said...

bai mike, sorry for the delay. Weather here is lousy for football.

The Cebu City vs Iloilo Province match ended in a 2-2 draw. The venue was transfered to the Iloilo Sports Complex because an all-night downpour flooded the La Paz Football Field.

Both teams then had to wait for the schedule atheletic eliminations to finish. The match started around 10:30 am with both teams employing a 4-4-2 formation.

Cebu struck early. At the eight minute, a thru pass from midfield got to booth at the penalty box were he was brought down by an Iloilo defender. Cunningham then sent the penalty kick to the low right of the goal. 1-0 Cebu.

While everybody was texting about the early goal to those waiting for news back home, Cebu was awarded a free kick after a foul following an interception from the kickoff. Arcenas then sent a magnificent dipping shot straight into the Iloilo goal that kissed the bottom of the bar and landed inside the net. 2-0 Cebu at the 10th minute.

Iloilo then made changes in their tactics. They sent one of their fullbacks up and had their left winger play closer to center. With 6 Ilonggos playing midfield, Cebu's midfield had to play defensively and their offensive drive halted. The muddy and wet field also made ground balls and short passing practically impossible. The long ball then became the order of the day for Iloilo.

One such longball sailed above everybody at the 18th minute and went into the direction of Cebu's last man. Anticipating a bounce, he slowed down his approach. Unfortunately the ball landed smack into a puddle of water and mud and failed to bounce. An Iloilo striker got to the ball first, faked once and slotted the ball past a diving Leonard Tan. 2-1 Cebu ahead.

On the very last minute of the half, Iloilo's smallest player got the ball deep at right corner all by his lonesome. With 2 defenders rushing towards him, he illuded one and sent off a weak hail mary attempt. The 99% Ilonggo crowd then went wild as the ball was deflected into the goal by a Cebu defender. 2-2 at halftime.

The second half saw a worsening field condition. Sideline play was non-existent as the ball simply would not roll more than a couple of feet. Iloilo continued with the long ball tactic while Cebu stuck with it's short game.

Cebu had 4-5 chances for another goal as it had accurate passers but once it reached our strikers at or near the penalty box, Iloilo started holding on to the players that prevented them from properly controlling the ball and attempting a shot.

On the other side, Iloilo had a magnificent chance to win the game in the dying minutes when a defensive lapse saw a one on one situation between Leonard Tan and the Ilonggo striker at the penalty box. Tan then made two magnificent diving saves to preserve the draw.

How I wish field conditions were better. It was an even matchup and seeing both teams performing on drier conditions and properly executing their plays would have been a treat.

Cebu assured itself of third place when it defeated the other Visayas powerhouse, NOFA, 1-0 yesterday thru another Arcenas goal. But the win came at a price as Arcenas, Caballero and Tan suffered injuries in the match.

Cebu vs. Iloilo today at 8am. A win will assure us of 2nd place. If Iloilo province loses or draws with Bacolod, Cebu gets top seed for the region. Their will be no championship game. The top 3 on points will qualify to the National finals in November at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.

Other game results

NOFA over Iloilo City 4-1
Iloilo Province over Iloilo City 7-0

ronaldo said...

Cebu defeated Iloilo City 5-0 this morning to finish the tournament with 2 wins and one draw. On the second day, Iloilo province defeated NOFA to claim top seed from the Visayas region.

Cebu and Iloilo province actually tied on points with 7 each, but Iloilo had a bigger goal difference due to their 7-0 drubbing of sister team Iloilo City yesterday.

In another rainy playing day, Cebu kept the game at Iloilo's own court. The Cebuanos could have scored much more if not for several hits on the bar and posts. Several attempts also stopped inches short of the goal line not because of saves but because the rain and mud stopped the ball from going any further.

Hopefully, we will see better playing conditions in the National finals come November. Iloilo Province, Cebu City and NOFA will represent the Visayas.