Fair Play: Let's all take a ride with Team Jeepney

DID you catch the circus in the Senate two days ago? When the dirty laundry of Philippine sports was revealed in the Senate inquiry?

Yep, there is much to be desired in the way the NSAs, POC and the PSC are set up, but that doesn’t mean everything’s bad in Philippine sport.

Take for example the Homeless World Cup team of the Philippines. Nicknamed Team Jeepney, the squad, coached by Rudy del Rosario, is making waves in Paris, earning three wins in five matches so far.

After losing to Slovenia, 6-4, the team beat Ghana, 3-2, USA, 4-3, Switzerland, 8-2, before losing to the Netherlands, 5-2.

Not bad, eh?

What is impressive, too, is that last year, before the Azkals hit the collective consciousness, the team won the Host Cup—one of six trophies in the tournament—over Norway, 4-3.

Sometimes, it’s a cliché to say teams are already winners just by joining a tournament, but for this team? That’s an apt description.

Consider this bit of news that was plastered in the Homeless World Cup page a few weeks ago.

Virginia Sienes, who has been looking for her son for nine years, finally found him, after a relative saw her son Bert getting interviewed on TV, wishing to meet his family before he leaves for Paris.

Ikaw ba si Wenok?” the mom asked during that emotional reunion.

Opo,” Bert answered.

From the report, “Like a password for a magical place to be opened and on cue, they embraced each other and tears flowed on their faces and all Bert could utter was ‘Mama,’ over and over.”

Yep, Bert, Jeffrey Guelas, Jeffrey de Castro, Janrick Sorinao, Michael Rojo, Aljhonn Loui Matulac, John Celiz and Ricardo Padilla are winners. So too are coach Rudy and the men and women behind the team—our national team that isn’t a national team because of the POC-PSC set-up.

But, definitions be damned, this is our Philippine team, our national team!

Dan Palami is in Paris, too, to support the squad and here’s what the man posted in his Facebook page.

Tonight, God had a funny way of reminding me to be thankful for the blessings he has given me. I promised to take the Homeless World Cup team to dinner in a restaurant here in Paris. So, dressed smartly in their signature shirts and jackets, we went to the place they had all been wanting to go to.... KFC. Next stop... Starbucks.”

Yep, like Sir Dan, I thank God for small miracles.

Miracles like Team Jeepney.


Sherlyn Mercado said…
This is so inspiring, thanks for sharing :) Mabuhay ang lahing Pinoy!

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