Friday, March 25, 2011

Fair Play: Yanti Barsales: The Azkals' Super Lolo

AT 38 years old, Yanti Barsales is old enough to be the father of some of the latest batch of Azkal wannabes.

But Yanti is as sure as hell tougher than most of them. Against Myanmar, Yanti took a knock that would have ended a teen’s campaign in a tournament and had it happened here in Cebu, it could have started a riot.

I know, I’ve seen fans here fight for something less.

I’ve also seen toughies shirk from a situation that Yanti got himself into in the 70th.

After getting a perfectly-timed floater from Angel Aldeguer, the guy who christened him Lolo, Yanti beat the defense, and seeing he was a step or two ahead of the keeper, launched a floater of his own that was headed straight to the goal if not for the presence of mind of one defender.

But Yanti never saw where his attempt went.

A second after his lob, he got a vicious hit to the face that would have made Eric Cantona’s flying-kick to Grandma look like a foot massage.

Yanti got down of course, and was stretchered off.

But the next day, he was off and running, saying he’d gladly do it again for the team.
Now that’s spunk.

Some critics say, “Porma ra kutob ang Azkals. They’re not that tough. They’re not that good.”

To a certain degree, they are right. The Azkals certainly are not that good but they certainly have the heart. Barsales showed it.

And it was fitting that we got to be reminded by that by Yanti Bersales, who was already a member of the senior team at a time when Pinoys’ idea of football was the “Any Given Sunday,” or “Remember the Titans” variety, not the “Bend It Like Beckham” variety.

All porma? Tell it to Barsales and we’d do a whole lot better if we have half the heart of Barsales.

That’s something that not all of the 20-something players have.

Perhaps, it’s time Lolo shares some of his secrets?

By the way, how did Lolo get his name?

Blame Angel Guirado Aldeguer, or AGA for short. According to Cedelf Tupas, the Filipino-Spanish, who’s just learning English, kept calling Barsales, “Abuelo, abuelo during scrimmages.” The team sure had a laugh when they learned what “Abuelo” meant.

But AGA got it wrong, he should have called him, “Super Abuelo.”


sidrow_c said...

a rare breed with tamasak power. he comes from the stable of don simon.

sidrow_c said...

congratulations to the philippine men's football team