Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fair Play: Joavan's mismatches and mismatches

WITH all the attention and luck Joavan Fernandez is getting, I think, it is about time Talisay City's First Son considers taking up sports.  Besides, getting plastered in the back pages of a paper is better than hitting the front pages everyday.

It would also do his city proud, and should he engage in sports, it won't only be his dad who would be paying and praying for his endeavors.  The whole city will.



Based on news reports, First Son is quite adept at a few sports:

PRACTICAL SHOOTING. For this one, he must remember not to bring a toy gun.  Shooting, the sport, is easy since he doesn’t have to hide his guns after his shootaround and paper targets don’t need jobs to stay quite.

KARTING. Though the sport doesn't involve running someone over or threatening to burn the guy who fills his tanks, he can satisfy his appetite for speed without the need of an ambulance siren. Besides, hot chicks fight over race drivers and not the other way around.

 DRAGONBOAT RACING. He doesn't have to be the one to row the boat, all he has to do is beat a drum and pressure a bunch of people to row it for him. And lastly.

ATHLETICS. If he can jump hurdles with ease, throw his weight around expertly, run into trouble every other day, he'd be right at home with hurdles, discus or hammer throw, and sprints.

Of course, to improve his skills, he must leave Talisay for Manila where he can train with the best in whatever sport he chooses. First Son could be RP’s first Olympic gold medalist, with his luck and guardian angels, his competitors might even “forget” to compete.

I wanted to suggest First Son try boxing or martial arts but in both sports, the other guy is allowed to fight back and is not supposed to be pressured to just absorb the blows as it would be a mismatch.

And speaking of mismatches, I caught one last Sunday in the Aboitiz Football Cup and unlike in Talisay City, the one on the receiving end of the offensive barrages won. What a lovely game!

I caught the last 10 minutes of the first half when I got to the University of San Carlos-Technological Center and saw Sambag 1 having a feast at University of Southern Philippines Foundation Alumni's side of the field.

Such luck, I thought.  I rarely get to watch games and I had to catch a mismatch.  When the first half ended, I thought the sully faces of the powerhouse Sambag 1 team meant they failed to score five goals.  I was wrong. They were trailing 1-0.

In that game, it seems, the guardian angel was watching over USPF, not you-know-who's son, and it showed why football is such a beautiful game.

You may dominate 99 percent of the offense, you may have the better players but you still can lose.

Sambag was so dominant in the second half they could have replaced their keeper with another field player as USPF Alumni never threatened them. Heck, their keeper could have brought his cell phone on the field and spend his 45 minutes calling Papa Joe rather than wait for a shot that never came.

In the rare times that USPF managed to dispossess Sambag on the defensive end, they didn't even bother to attack, they just sent the ball out.

"Para makapahulay ug two minutes," I heard one player say.

 The offense was that lopsided but USPF held on, aided by a few poor finishes by Sambag’s strikers and by the panache of their keeper, Benjamin Sanchez.

 "Pirme naa sa position ang keeper," one coach said the obvious after yet another save by Sanchez.

And that was that last Sunday, being in the right position meant the little guy won the mismatch in USC-TC, unlike you-know-who in TC.

(mikelimpag@gmail.com)

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