Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A wacky comment about Cebu's POF triumph

AFTER the Palarong Pambansa debacle, Cebu City now has a national champion to call after a composite team made of players from Don Bosco, CIS and Springdale won the Philippine Olympic Festival football title over Iloilo, 1-0.

The team’s triumph shows that sending a team of Cebu’s best—and not just the best Cebu team—gets good results.

The unique makeup of the team was highlighted in the crucial play, the goal of the match.

Karl Arcenas (Springdale) connected the corner kick to Tom Booth (CIS), who in turn found an open Mikko de Guzman (DBC) for the lone goal of the match.

A goal you can only see in the movies.

However, with all the hooplah of the win, there is one comment by a councilor that kind of leaves a not so nice taste in my mouth.

I’m sure the good councilor means well for the team, but to call the team, “hastily prepared” is an insult to the players and the coach.

Everybody knows no "hastily prepared team" can play six matches in a week, much more win it all.

I don’t think the team ever stopped preparing ever since they won the right to represent Cebu in the regional finals.

Saying that Cebu sent a “hastily prepared” team, was, in my opinion—just wacky!

Congratulations to all the players.


ronaldo said...

Bai Mike, here's the complete lineup

1-Leonard Tan GK DBTC
2-Joshua Cruz GK Paref Springdale
5-Charles Caballes Sweeper DBTC
6-Christian Noel Stopper DBTC
7-Rikko De Guzman Midfield DBTC Team Captain
8-Prince Antony Winger Abellana National High School
10-Peter Ricamora Winger DBTC
11-Carl Arcenas Midfield Sacred Heart School-Jesuits
12-Winrich Baclay Winger DBTC
14-Thomas Booth Striker CIS
16-James Nacorda Winger DBTC
17-Angelico Ramirez Fullback DBTC
18-Robert Gealon Striker DBTC
19-Emmanuel Cunningham Striker CIS
21-Emilio Cunningham Fullback CIS
22-Miguel Caindec Striker DBTC
23-Jules Villahermosa Midfield CIE
41-Kenneth Young Fullback Paref Springdale

Here's some tidbits.

-Davao and Iloilo were the tournament favorites. When Cebu met Davao in the semis, GK Joshua Cruz only touched the ball twice. In the finals against Iloilo, GK Leonard Tan also touched the ball just twice. Both teams had NO shots on goal.

-The Iloilo coach shouted several times to his players "please, sang clear attempt lang"

-So dominating was the team's performance that most coaches, refs and former national team players watching the semis and finals games could only comment "grabeha, gi-half court man".

-During the finals, Cebu had 8-9 shots on goal that were sure goals against any other keeper in the tournament - that was saved by the Iloilo GK. I'll have to give credit were credit is due. Their keeper was GREAT !!!

-Much has been said about the team's offense, but it was the team's defense that was the tactical key. The 27 goal difference and the 5 consecutive shut-outs says it all.

-PFF President Jonny Romualdez only showed up during the finals. And disappeared after the photo above was taken.

-Ask the Cebu refs who were there (Randy, Michael and Kurt), and they will tell you (off the record of course) that the game was 13 against 11 (you know what I mean).

-The common pre-tournament comment observers had against the team was that it was big, skillfull but slow compared to Davao and Iloilo. Against both teams, Cebu sprinted and sprinted and sprinted. If not for the muddy and slippery ASCOM field (and the Iloilo GK), the score would have definitly been higher.

And yes, the team was continuosly training right after the local P14 eliminations.

kikster said...

This 93/94 team is really composed of good players looking at ronaldo's roster. Having a selection really helps provided the players can join practices. The only drawback is if you have no other choice but to pick players who have the resources to spend to join practices or go to the actual tourney. Its a pity but this is reality in Cebu.

ronaldo said...

Solving the financial problems in preparing and sending selections is easier IF the team is informed -way in advance- when the definite date of the tournament will be. That way, solicitation letters could be sent out much earlier, the proper government agencies/officials can be approached, class schedules/exemptions could be arranged. Basically, logistical preparations needs to be started at least a month before the team leaves.

The Cebu Team was well prepared because the eliminations and the regionals was properly scheduled. The team had several months in between tournaments to prepare and blend together. The Don Bosco players and the reinforcements also left their egos at the doorstep and everyone were prepared to take a supporting role and not expect a starring role. Proof of that is that in every game in the regionals and finals, Coach Ramos fielded a different starting 11, and any combination that was fielded in clicked. The fact that Ramos kept his Bosconian core and simply added the reinforcements to complement who was already there made things easy. Their was no big adjustments to make in tactics. The players practiced 3 times a week for two months and all throughout sem break.

I'm not sure if the POF is a yearly tournament. But if it is, Cebu's 1992 and 1995 born players are just as deep as the 1993 and 1994 players. It would be the turn of the 94/95 players in the U15 and the turn of the 92/93 players in the U17 if there will be a POF in 2008. Some may disagree but as far as I am concerned, this tournament is the most prestigious for their particular age-groups considering that it is FA based and national in scope.

Mike Limpag said...

Prestige? Considering that the POF was staged to discover new talents for the national team that will be sent in future competitions (assuming, of course, we send one). I'd say that win was a tough one.

Here's my ranking of prestigious national achievements.

1.) Coke-Go-for-goal
2.) Under 19
3.) Men's Nationals/Palaro.

(POF not included, it being a new one)

The first two are defunct but for me, they are still the most prestigious titles. The Palaro and the national men's open have lost its prestige because of the cheating (jumping teams in the men's, age in the Palaro)

And here's a list of the toughest national title to win.
1.) Palaro (because of the cheating and how it is conducted)
2.) Men's Nationals.

As to the POF, will it be a yearly tournament?

Those who were there can answer that question. If anyone was doing any "discovery" during the national finals, it could be. But if the NSA, like the president, only showed up for a photo op...

ronaldo said...

Some of the hot topics at the sidelines during the POF was the possible revival of the Coke-Go-For-Goal, but this time it may be U17 and not U16.

Another is the possible sponsorship of the U19 (U21?) National Tournament by a major company manufacturing dairy-based products.

I usually shrug off talks like these but it tickled my fancy when corporate executives from both companies came and watched the POF games. Of course, they distanced themselves away from PFF and POC people (2 prominent candidates for the PFF presidency dropped by while another sat on the officials' table) but there was no denying their identities. Their service SUV's were emblazoned with their company's logos. I thought they were sponsoring the POF but I'm guessing they were only there to observe.

I hope these talks/proposals would push thru. A yearly NATIONAL championship is always something to look forward to.