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Showing posts from January, 2012

Another chance for Matt Hartmann? For me, Yes!

WHEN I heard that U23 team captain Matt Hartmann left the team in the Southeast Asian Games I told myself, “this dude just kissed his international career goodbye.”

A few weeks back, when I learned how he went legalese with coach Michael Weiss, I thought he lost his marbles. When I learned how he justified his departure, by saying “that he wasn’t obliged to stay with the team and could leave anytime,” I thought this young dude deserved to be taught a lesson.

A ban from the national team should suffice.

Palami wants to bring Azkals back to Cebu

(This is the draft of my report--not a column--for Sun.Star Cebu on Jan. 31) IT WASN’T only former PH Under 23 team captain Matt Hartman who got suspended by the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Disciplinary Committee but also team manager Dan Palami himself.

“I was also suspended from all football-related activities,” Palami told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.

Fair Play: The Juan who could be a footballer

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on Jan. 30)
FROM a distance, Juan Esquer looked like one mean fighting machine.  Moments before the fight started, as he stood there in the ring, he looked like my cousin Aris who is also my uncle.

During my birthday celebration years ago in Moalboal, my cousin, who dabbled in boxing in the Philippine Military Academy, punched me in the stomach because it was their tradition and it hurt like hell.

Juan looked like one mean fighter.

Fair Play: A half-baked preparation for Bolkiah?

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on Jan. 28) NOT too many people know that before Dan Palami took over the senior team, he was the manager of the Under 19 squad that had their breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snacks handed to them in 45 minutes during the AFC Under 19 championships qualifiers in 2009.

Because of that humiliating showing, when Dan was offered the job as senior team manager, he vowed not to be as ill-prepared as the Under 19 team.

Fair Play: Developments, politics in the beautiful game

(This is the draft for my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on Jan. 26)  AFTER the brouhaha over the friendly against Icheon City of Korea, there are two other developments that should be interesting for the UFL and for fans.

One is a little-known league in football-hotbed Bacolod and the other is the plan of former Bacolod representative Monico Puentevella to put up a league for the Visayas and Mindanao.

Fair Play: Once again, the beef against Kenyans

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on Jan. 23)
TWO of our top runners offered a glimpse rarely seen of athletes who are featured in these pages, regularly.

And that is being brutally honest.

The two said they’d rather have this topsy-turvy schedule of fun runs being held simultaneously on a Sunday so they’d have a better chance of getting the money.

A chance for others to shine

AAAH. If only the Younghusbands and the rest of the UFL stars played against Icheon City, we could have won.

Right?

Maybe.

But, as my favorite author wrote, if your aunt had balls, he’d be your uncle, too.

Now, were clubs like Loyola Meralco and Kaya justified in not releasing their players? Was the UFL, too, justified in not moving the Kaya and Loyola matches so their players could have been free to release the Azkals for national team duties?

Of course.

Icheon City beats Azkals

THE new-look Azkals lost in a way that was new to fans, by penalty shootout to the visiting Icheon City FC in the charity match dubbed the Kia Cup at the Rizal Memorial Stadium last night.

After fighting to a 1-1 draw, the Azkals lost the shootout, 4-2, with Filipino-Spanish player Carli de Murga making a horrendous bungle from the 12-yard spot to send the Azkals to their third straight loss in a friendly at home.

Queen City salvages draw

(This report by Cheska D. Geli will appear in Sun.Star Cebu on Jan. 21) QUEEN City United drew its opening match in the United Football League Division 2, 1-1, against Diliman Victory Liner at artificial turf at Global City,

Coach Mario Ceniza said playing in the artificial turf for the first time was a unique experience for Queen City and the players were not used to it.

Fair Play: Would you want to see a UFL match in Cebu?

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Jan. 21 issue)
CEBUANOS have always longed to see Cebu Queen City in action at home against a UFL team right? And if plans push through, that wish might push through this year in a mini-tournament against two or three other teams.

It won’t be just against any UFL team but against Kaya FC of Ali Borromeo and Nate Burkey, Global FC of Angel Aldeguer and of course, Paolo Pascual and Graeme Mackinnon and Loxwood FC, a UK-based football club that is playing in the lower tiers of English football.

Fair Play: New-look Azkals to face Koreans this Saturday

FOOTBALL fans who follow the Azkals but not the UFL will probably find it strange that in the Saturday friendly against Icheon of South Korea, Phil and James Younghusband, among other players, won’t be seeing action.

And I hope these fans would get the right explanaition—that the players have club duties in the United Football League—lest they begin to think that they’re just busy with, I don’t know, showbiz commitments?

Fair Play: Where will the P300 million go?

(This is my draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Jan. 16 issue) WHEN I met Dan Palami  two weeks ago, I asked him if the Philippine Football Federation still gets money from the Philippine Sports Commission.

He shrugged, and said, “I don’t think they still need it.”

It was also at that time when he and PFF president Nonong Araneta were deep in negotiation for an exclusive TV contract and over lunch, he told me, that ABS CBN’s global reach, is an advantage to the Azkals because of how the team has connected with overseas workers in its training camp abroad.

Fair Play: Rift between Azkals and UFL? Say it ain't so!

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on Jan. 14)
THIS year will be quite a busy year for the Azkals as well as for the UFL, which will have a 18-week season.

And with two friendlies in the first three weeks of the month alone, sandwiching the opening of the UFL, along with it comes an inevitable conflict of schedules.

UFL grants Cebu Queen City a Sinulog break

(This story by Cheska D. Geli will come out on Sun.Star Cebu on Jan. 13) THE United Football League (UFL) executive committee has finally approved Cebu’s Queen City United request to have its opening match in the UFL second division rescheduled.

That was after the committee received the revised letter from the club yesterday and responded to it right away with another letter approving the rescheduling of the game this Saturday to Jan.  21.

Fair Play: Yep, bigger Prizes for top Pinoy runners

I AGREE, there should be more prizes for the best performing Pinoys in races that have Kenyans, just to, as what one local elite runner said, “compensate them for their efforts.”

But why limit it to local elites, though?

Fair Play: Running itself, is the best prize for me

HOURS after the Cebu City Marathon, I couldn’t bend my right knee and dealing with the stairs made me feel like how Graeme Mackinnon must have felt pre-knee surgery.

A day later, I had muscle pains everywhere that even my toes hurt. There were times, too, that my left calf felt like cramping for no reason at all, while my right leg was still feeling the worse of my first dalliance with 21K.

FAir Play: Running, it's more fun in the CCM

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu, Jan 9 issue) ARMED with two relatively long runs, I had no problem in the first half of my first 21K but it was the final half that killed my confidence and legs.

Thankfully, I am here in one piece, writing—albeit with my creative juices sapped out—about my first 21K.

I had such a lackadaisical preparation minutes before the race that I didn’t even warm-up. While most followed the warm-up routines and others did their own routine, I did what I usually do when I’m excited (or nervous). I lit up.

Fair Play: The other Dan Palami and a screwed PFF

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu, Jan. 7 issue)
MY supposedly 24-hour trip to Manila got extended but I didn’t mind spending another 24 hours in traffic-mad Manila because I learned a lot of things.

I went to Manila not for the charity match between the Azkals and the CF Madrid (aired live today at 4 p.m.) as most expected, but to listen to a 20-minute speech Dan Palami gave in Philam Life’s sales convention.

Philam, where my wife works, got Dan as the guest speaker with a little help from me and as a thank you, they got me tickets to Manila. Which, of course, was fine by me.

Fair Play: Should we pander to elite runners?

AN article in the 2010 edition of the Best American Sports Writing caught my attention. Though it was about one man’s attempt to reconstruct an old links course, it reminded me, of all things, about some of the local elite runners’ lament regarding the entry of the foreign runners.

The author said that in the era when golf was its infancy, courses were designed to “evoke play over existing terrain in thought-provoking ways,” and grounds were not “recontoured to conform to golfers’ expectations.”
This is my first non Fair Play, non-Sun.Star Cebu related post in months.

And yep, I'm scared out of my wits for my first 21K.   On Dec. 30, I planned to run from Banawa to Sto. Nino Village and back, and that should get me to my planned 15K (Google map pending) a week before the Cebu City Marathon.

But the rain, and the party (I ran to a party last Dec. 30) stopped me from getting to the final half of my route.

21K is easy for the weekend runners, but I haven't joined a weekend run since August, and I haven't ran longer than a 6K, officially that is.

Also, I wished that the Jan. 7 friendly, which was in doubt when I started training, would push through so I would have a reason to skip the Jan. 8 event.

The friendly is pushing through and I'm skipping it for the Jan. 8 run.

Sus Ginoo.