Monday, June 27, 2011

Fair Play: Football medal in the SEA Games? Preposterous!

I ONCE announced in an online forum that I’d run as naked as the day I was born if the Philippines made the semifinals of the 2005 Southeast Asian Games.

I admit, it was one of those if-you-want-the-moon-then-aim-for-the-stars kind of move.

I also admit it was one of those dares I was so looking forward to finding an excuse not to do.

But on the night the Philippines crashed out, losing to Malaysia, 4-2—in a match the team led, 2-1, I was disappointed.

No, not because I lost the chance to do my dare. What I said was so far from my mind that night.

What I was thinking was those 15 minutes when the Philippines was ahead, 2-1, and a semifinal appearance—seemingly impossible only a week before—was right there for the taking.

If only…

But curiously Vince Santos, the then team manager, was giddy.

We just crashed out and this guy was optimistic?

I thought he was crazy.

But then he pointed out the obvious.

The core of the squad was eligible for another SEA Games.

“Guys like the two Phils are eligible for two more SEA Games,” I remember Vince saying as we sauntered off Draft Bar in Bacolod City, a few merry drunken hours after the team lost their final game to Malaysia.

Then he mentioned all the possible starters in the next SEAG and I think I was drooling at what could have been the strongest-ever SEA Games team.

I also remember thinking that perhaps a football medal in the SEA Games in my lifetime wasn’t preposterous?

But then reality happened.

Vince, who said it would be a very nice problem to solve who will make the team, never got to solve the problem.

That possible strongest-SEAG team ever?

We never sent them in 2007, ditto in 2009.

But then 2010 happened and the PSC, who in 2007 and 2009 thought football didn’t pass the must-be-a-medal-contender criterion and hence wasn’t sent to the SEA Games, realized that not sending a football team to this year’s Seag would probably start a Twitter riot.

So we are sending one, finally.

And like Vince, Dan Palami and the coaching staff are having fits finalizing the squad, what with 47 members in the training pool.

But unlike Vince, who could have signed a 7-foot gay keeper and nobody would have
noticed, whatever Dan does or doesn’t do is analyzed ad infinitum.

Heck, these days, we sometimes get more football updates from Showbiz Central!

The changes in the Philippine football scene are really quite remarkable.

Vince once told me, a day before the 2005 SEAG football event started, that
basketball’s loss was the chance for other sports to shine.

If you remember, basketball then was scrapped due to the country’s suspension from Fiba.

“This is our chance to show the country what we can do!” Vince said.

Now, the football team doesn’t need that.

The 2010 Suzuki Cup success made them mainstream news. What they do on field (and sometimes who they do off-field?) are a regular staple in the news.

Heck, this early, folks are saying that we can win a medal in this year’s SEA Games.


This early?

That’s preposterous!

We have a training pool, not a team.

And we haven’t even seen the draw yet.

A medal in the SEA Games?

No, I won’t go that far, yet.

But this I promise. I’ll run the 2012 Cebu City Marathon with only my football cleats on if the Philippines wins the gold medal in Jakarta.

And Dan Palami will be my pacer.


ee said...

Just because you were disappointed in the part doesn't mean you have to act like a jilted lover now.for your frustration may have blinded you from the fact that our chances me winning a medal now are greater now than then. That's because we now have the option me choosing many talented players coming from everywhere. That's luxury we simply didn't have in the past. Dati nagrereklamo ka na walang pinapadalang football team at ngayong may ipapadala nagrereklamo ka naman by saying wala tayong team,pool lang.and by that we know you mean na kulang sa oras pag train at prepare ng kakabuong i ask you,ano ba talaga kuya?!manalo o matalo,this is a win2x for football!one,kasi sa wakas may napadala nang football team which you were grumbling about in the past.second,we don't waste time by waiting for this just formed team to be ready.this is international exposure,they will learn a lot from this experience.we strike while the iron is hot.we grab every available opportunity we can get brought about by the azkals' hype.The azkals have shown we can win against former SEA champions.they just paved the way, our future lies in our u23,u19,kids squad.we just have to have faith in them for now ph football is in good hands than what it used to.the corruption,yun ang hadlang sa ating mga magagaling na mga players. So if they ever win a medal please spare us the drama, and spare the public from the torture. For i think you know that's a crime and the only ones win do that but are not criminal liable are those who end up in mental institutions.

ee said...

pasensya cellphone lang gamit mag browse at hirap magtype kasi i turned on T9 prediction. There are times me ang nakalagay when of ang dapat, win when who ang dapat.basta gets nyo na yan.hehe

Mike Limpag said...

No probs and it's one of those if you-want-the-moon-then-aim-for-the-stars target

Thanks for dropping by