Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Fair Play: TCC Boys in Men's Open

BURIED under the news the previous weeks was an interesting development.  A bunch of teenagers of Team Cebu City (TCC) football taking Xantos FC to a clinic, 9-1, in a Men's Open tournament at the lovely field at Don Bosco Liloan.

A bunch of 16-year-olds in the Men's Open may be a mismatch to some, but if it's TCC you're up against, it's the other kind of mismatch, as shown by the score.

TCC's presence in the tournament serves two purposes, they get more playing time, and it simulates the Philippine Olympic Festival.

"There are games everyday in the POF," coach Mario Ceniza said.

On Saturdays, the players suit up for their school teams in the 17-Under, and on Sundays, they play for TCC.  And if that isn't enough, on Mondays, Ceniza said they simulate another game during their practice.

Also, Ceniza gets to tinker with his lineup, and its important that he does since under his system, a player must learn to play two or more positions and defenders must also be actively involved in the offense.

Though they have to watch out for counterattacks, but against a team that can barely run in the Men's Open, that's one aspect they had to overlook, for now.

Playing in a field like Don Bosco Liloan (which Ceniza described as so pristine) TCC also gets to practice their ground passing game (dili na moliko ug iya ang bola).

Also, one of the teams they will be facing in the POF is Iloilo, and these are players who learned football facing guys twice their age, and twice their size.  TCC's participation in the Men's Open is one way of leveling the field.

REACTIONS.  I got a rather lovely fax when I got to the office the other day, regarding my last piece.

"I was reading Horror Stories from the DepEd Crypt by Mike T. Limpag in Fair Play. From the start, I kept waiting for the Horror Stories Mr. Limpag was talking about.  Natapos na lang ko'g basa, wa man ko makabasa'g horror story!  Is Mr. Limpag "joking?"

I assure you, Mr. Invicto C. Alcantara (thanks for the letter) I'm not joking  but your letter jolted (to put it nicely) me, and I am caught between two thoughts---you had it much worse before that my horror stories sound like a "feel good" article, or you think there's nothing unusual with them that they don't qualify as horrific.

If age cheating, and murderous schedules in a meet organized by the vanguards of education in this country doesn't horrify you, I guess, nothing will or if you were expecting stories of the Freddy Krueger kind, may I remind you, you're in the sports pages? If you want the "horror" stories, then please check the latest on Jocjoc Bolante.

Aside from the faxed letter, I also got a reaction from our regular football pundit, Ronaldo, "Ambot aning DepEd. We have been told that it will still follow the same format. I think what needs to be done is for a heatstroke or dehydration victim to stand up and sue DepEd. Don Bosco won the 2006 Elementary Palaro after playing three straight games in six hours during the tailend of a typhoon at Naga City. This after playing two games the previous day. In 2007, Don Bosco managed a runnerup finish against San Carlos City in the same category after playing two straight games."

I don't think a lawsuit would change anything.  It took two casualties in 2007 before DepEd  realized that holding that stupid and useless Parade of Athletes during the hottest point of the day is not advisable and I really think it will take another casualty in football before DepEd realizes that its schedule kills.

I caught the tailend of the DBC game in the 2007 Palaro, and had they won that second game, they would have to play a third one—thanks to the "caring people" at DepEd.

When I posted the Palaro football schedule on an online forum, someone summed it up in three words--are they nuts?

(mikelimpag@gmail.com, football.cebunetwork.com)

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