Friday, November 04, 2011

Fair Play: No need to panic

(This is the draft of my column for Sun.Star Cebu on Nov. 5)
VIETNAM threw the garage along with the kitchen sink against the Philippines last Thursday and got three goals—two if you discount the unfortunate Matt Hartmann own goal—in the Philippine team’s opening day loss in the Southeast Asian Games.

And, despite the loss, I’m upbeat.

Heck, sure, we were disappointed that we lost but hey, I think we’re lucky we only lost, 3-1, to a Vietnamese side that seemed ready to redesign the football what with all the time they spent controlling it.

I watched the game with my kababayans Doc Joel, Paolo Pascual’s dad, and Mark Concha at our “classroom” the Azkal Sports Bar and Grill and boy were we treated to a delightful match.
Unlike close boxing matches that could go either way, at 1-0, with the Philippines leading, it was one-way traffic in the second half and it was only thanks to Roland Muller that we were still ahead in the first 13 minutes of the second half.

But then Matt Hartmann, the team captain, conceded an own goal, heading the ball past a stunned Muller in the 58th to put Vietnam on level terms.

“It happens,” Doc Joel said.

“Kaya pa na,” I said.

Of course, we all know what happened after that. Boosted by the freebie, Vietnam spent the rest of the second half getting to know the PHL defense better, spotting holes as easily as a habal-habal driver would find open spaces in a traffic jam.

Sure, we had too many holes in defense that it seems we were putting up a “welcome, please strike here” sign for the Vietnamese strikers but, hey, the Vietnamese played for their lives in the second half and got the results they deserve.

I could point out a few more—or even dozens—of negatives from that match but I don’t think now’s the time to do that.   Besides, for every one error that I see, I think the coaching staff will spot six, so I’m pretty confident the coaching staff knows what it needs to do for the rest of the SEA Games. 

Besides, the day the coaching staff needs advice from overweight columnists who haven’t touched a football since Erap was president is the day we don’t need them.

Why all the optimism and the non-critique?

It’s simple really.

It was just their first game and it was against one of the favorites to win the gold medal.

And I liked the positives that I saw in that loss.

Now on to the next game.

But please, no more scoring for our foes, Cap!

MAYWEATHER THE KSP.  One of these days, when Manny Pacquiao gets yet another award or announces another fight, I won’t be surprised if Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s camp will come out with yet another absurd announcement, say, that’s really from the future?

His latest announcement that he will return on the ring on May 5 and wants Manny Pacquiao is yet but another sick attempt to undermine Manny.

First, of course, came when hours before Manny fought Ricky Hatton, that’s when Junior announced his comeback against Juan Manuel Marquez before saying he’d go to the park with his kid and won’t bother watching a boring fight.

When news of Manny’s first congressional session hit the net? That’s when Senior launched into another round of Manny-is-on-steroids barrage in mainstream media.

And when Manny was to receive yet another BWAA Award? Junior announced his retirement.
And now this. Floyd Jr. announcing his next fight just when the boxing world is focused on Marquez vs. Pacquiao 3.

Perhaps, when Manny says his career is over, Junior will announce Obama is asking him to run for President?


saNDugo said...

Mike that was lousy football. the players need to hold themselves accountable for everything that happens on the pitch. gawd awful lack of responsibility, the whole lot. no leadership. coach had a lousy application of whatever football coaching experience he has in his black kit. but the players, man, they looked like a bunch of....
They need to talk outside of the pitch, hold themselves accountable for everything. They need to come out of "training" wanna-look-good-for-facebook-twitter crap mentality and switch on to doing battle for flag. or maybe they don't really care much about flag. If they do, they need to show with some kind of urgency. that was a VERY DISSAPOINTING loss.

Mike said...

Let's hope a different kind of team shows up for the Monday game. Now that game, they can't afford to lose or else it's bye-bye final four

saNDugo said...

you bet. but its time we make noise for real about what's good for our country's football. i hope dinha sa sugbo nag seneryoso ta sa grassroots development. i think the moral of that game v vietnam is that country's grassroots paying dividends. that was fantastic movement, the individual skills, so good it's rediculous.