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Showing posts from March, 2012

Will we see the end of factionism in CFA?

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu, March 31 issue)
I THOUGHT Cebu Football Association president Richard Montayre was joking when he said he saw my names among the nominees for today’s CFA elections, so I didn’t really pay that much attention.

Imagine my surprise when I learned Richard wasn’t joking and I’m really one of the nominees.

Fair Play: Paolo Pascual pays it forward

(This is my draft for my Fair Play for Sun.Star Cebu's March 30 issue)
THE Pascual family is beaming with pride these days, not because of what Paolo is doing now in his football career, but of the way how this young man turned out to be.

He continues to stay humble and focused, and doesn't let the trappings of his being a footballer in the UFL and the national team get into his head (as one kababayan said it, "Doc, kung ako si Paolo, kada lugar naa nay uyab).

Azkals to revisit home in Panaad

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for March 29 issue of Sun.Star Cebu)

IF plans push through, Bacolod could be hosting a friendly involving the Philippine national team and China on June 12, and I think it’s about time this football hotbed gets to host a friendly again.

Make no mistake about it, the fans in Manila are great and they really support the national team, but there is something about the atmosphere in Panaad that sets it apart.

Fair Play: Paolo's fortunate unfortunate injury

(This is the draft for my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu for March 26 issue) DR. CHONA Pascual, Paolo’s mom, watched her son play for the first time last Saturday. 

What a first time it turned out to be as her son ends up in the hospital with a broken nose after a nasty collision with Chieffy Caligdong, who met the whole Pascual family the last time he was in Cebu.

Queen City eyes 7th win; Global takes lead

CEBU Queen City United will try to close the gap against third placer Agila FC in Week 11 of the United Football League Division 2 at the Turf at BGC today.
Queen City will take on bottom feeder Agila Manila All Japan, which has seven points on a 2-1-7 record.

Fair Play: Third time's the charm for the CFA?

A WEEK from today, the Cebu Football Association will hold its general elections, and I hope whoever gets elected will get the support of the community, no matter whatever faction they belong.

The CFA held such promise the last time it had an election, mirroring the promising start of the board before them.

Fair Play: A toast for new traditions, Azkals victories

(I forgot about my character-limit for mid-week column, so wrote a new one for March 22 Fair Play in Sun.Star Cebu) SO, what did you do after the Azkals got third place in the Challenge Cup?

Did you, like Craig Burrows and Santi Araneta, splash your way to the Manila Pen fountain to start a tradition that will hopefully be repeated?

Now that, was something! I never thought I’d see the day when guys here would be celebrating that way.  The buzz on twitter after the win? Santi’s and Craig’s swim! We were all waiting for the pics to be uploaded because it was an epic celebration.

Fair Play: In over their heads

(This is a draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on March 21)
NOW GMA’s turning this into a crusade for homegrown talents?  It would have been a laudable move if not for how the station got there.

While defending that Arnold Clavio’s statements were not racist, (while, ironically, making it look like the Pinoys have a monopoly of good values), an article in GMA’s website said, “While we have yet to prove that there are countless football players who are as, if not more, skilled than the Fil-foreigners we have in the Azkals, it is a valid question to ask of our national teams: why are there more hybrids on the team than full-bred Pinoys?”

Fair Play: Of crabs, pranks and an imaginary scene

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu, March 19)
"PLEASE Lord, isa lang Lord," my buddy Mark Concha was praying beside me in the final minutes of the semifinal match between Turkmenistan and the Philippines in the AFC Challenge Cup.
And I think the multitude of fans all over the country, and the Pinoys based abroad (some of whom want to meet a certain Arnold Clavio), were thinking of the same thing.

GMA tells PFF: Clavio comments are fine by us

SO GMA 7, that station that touts "serbisyong totoo" has said its piece on the Arnold Clavio issue. Saying that it didn't find anything offensive in Clavio's statement "Di kayo Filipino, nagpapangap lang kayo na kayumanggi," GMA said it was part of the unscripted portion of Unang Hirit and that the hosts were just expressing their opinions.
And of course, according to GMA 7, the hosts' opinions, and their right to say it, are protected by the constitution.
Bravo.

PH dros heartbreaking loss

SO close.

The  Philippines was 10 minutes away from a historic finals appearance when disaster struck and a couple of defensive errors led to two late goals in its 2-1 loss to Turkmenistan in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup.

It's the racism issue, Mr. Clavio

THE Philippine Football Federation has finally fought back against Arnold Clavio and filed a complaint against him for saying that the members of the national team are not Filipinos and are just pretending to be brown-skinned.
Mind you, if this happened in a footballing-nation, or one that has racism concerns, Clavio would have either been sacked or suspended.  But because it happened here, nothing has been heard from Clavio and GMA 7.

Full text of PFF complaint vs. Clavio

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Here's the four-page complaint filed by PFF against Arnold Clavio.

Azkals eye finals spot

AFTER a history-clinching game against Tajikistan, the Philippine national team is off to set a record anew as it takes on Turkmenistan in the semifinal round of the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup in Nepal.

This is the Philippines’ first semifinal entry in the tournament, and its first semifinal stint since making the final four of the Suzuki Cup in 2010.

PFF files compalint vs. Clavio's 'racist remarks'

THE Philippine Football Federation has filed a complaint against GMA 7 anchor Arnold Clavio for what it deemed as “racist, libelous and discriminatory statements” uttered during his morning show Unang Hirit on March 13.
On March 13, the morning before the Philippines semis-clinching 2-1 win over Tajikistan in the Challenge Cup, Clavio, together with co-host Rhea Santos, Connie Sison and Lyn Ching Pascual, were discussing the sexual harassment complaint filed by Cristina Ramos on Angel Guirado and Lexton Moy.

Clavio said, “Hindi naman kayo Pilipino, nagpapanggap lang kayong kayumanggi. Hindi kayo dito lumaki.”

Azkals win, Clavio speaks; what a day

Challenge cup semifinals, here we come!
Last Tuesday night was something.  I guess, it’s safe to assume that football fans have never seen something like that. An epic win against the former champion Tajikistan to clinch a semifinals spot.
And a day, later, fans are talking about the win but there’s buzz, too, about the disparaging remarks by Arnold Clavio, who said on GMA’s morning show on the morning of the game,”Di naman sila mga Filipinos, nagpapanggap lang na kayumangi.”

Azkals takes on Tajikistan

(This is the draft of my report for Sun.Star Cebu on March 13)
AFTER upending former champion India, the Philippine national team will take on another former champion, Tajikistan, in its final group match of Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup in Nepal.

The Philippines beat 2008 champion India late Sunday and is now level with Tajikistan, the 2006 champion, at second place in the group. North Korea is first with six points after beating Tajikistan, 2-0, also last Sunday.

Fair Play: Resentment against football

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on March 12) IT IS unfortunate that until now, there is still this “half Filipino vs. pure Filipino” debate in Philippine football and that it seems, if they could get away with it, cynics would blame the death of the Rizal Memorial Stadium pitch on Pinoys raised abroad.

Is it because of jealousy, crab mentality or a misplaced sense of patriotism why Pinoys based abroad get the flak?

Azkals face India

(This is the draft of my report for Sun.Star Cebu on March 11) THE Philippines will gun for that much needed win, when it takes on India in their second game of the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup in Nepal today.

The Philippines lost its opening match to reigning champion North Korea, 2-0, and will be taking on the 2008 champions India which also lost its opening match, 2-0, to Tajikistan.

Cebu freezes Forza, 6-1

(This is the draft of my report for Sun.Star Cebu on March 11)
CEBU Queen City United nailed its fourth straight rout in the United Football League to move up to solo third in Division 2 yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Cebu Queen City showed it was just a class above Forza, 6-1, to improve to 16 points in eight matches, dropping Agila FC to fourth place, a point behind.

Gallant Azkals fall to NoKor, 2-0

(This is the draft of my match report for Sun.Star Cebu on March 10)
A GALLANT Philippine team held off North Korea for one half before conceding two goals in the second half to lose, 2-0, in its opening match of the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup in Nepal.

North Korea, which made the World Cup in 2010 and the defending champion of the tournament, now leads the group with three points, while the Philippines is last. Former champions India and Tajikistan were set to face each other at press time last night.

Fair Play: In defense of the Azkals

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on March 10)
NO, I’m not talking about the locker room incident that had Cristy Ramos filing a case for sexual harassment against Lexton Moy and Angel Guirado.

That’s now with the disciplinary committee and, I guess, I may not be the right person to comment on that because I get Lexton Moy’s remarks, having referred to all sorts of stuffs through terms related to a woman’s anatomy, that in hindsight sounded offensive if a woman was in earshot, but was never intended to be offensive. (Any guy who’s put on a shirt, shoe, glove, or even gone through a door that’s a size too short or too big, have made such remark at least once. And yes, it always elicits laughter and that banter isn’t even influenced by a locker room atmosphere.)

"We will only get better from here"

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(This is an article for 'My Story' written by U21 keeper Paolo Pascual for Sun.Star Cebu that came out on March 9. My Story is  section for the first-hand account of Cebuano athletes.  The fotos were taken by Graeme Mackinnon)
AS THE preparations were drawing close for the U-21 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy, we were all excited and looking forward to represent the Philippines in this tournament.

Knowing that I would get match experience, I know that it would really help me a lot as a player.

Fair Play: Chris G talks about Azkal experience

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on March  8)
I FINALLY got to interview Chris Greatwich, one of my favorite players in the national team. Unfortunately, Chris won't be joining the Challenge cup due to commitments at work.


"Coach Weiss and I have been in contact and we were trying to make it work but it just wasn't feasible with my workload. I hope to be involved again in the very near future once my work situation is more conducive," Chris told me via e-mail.


Chris joined the senior team in 2004 and the U23 in 2005.

Fair Play: Chess is the star of SAC-SMC Sports Awards

(This was my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on March 5)
ON the night Cebu’s best sports stars gathered, nothing shone more than chess, the sport often ignored for more glitzy or manly pursuits like basketball, football or what have you.

But last Saturday at the Terraces of Ayala Center Cebu, it was chess’s turn to be highlighted. There was a video presentation of the Guinness World Record attempt of the Cebu City Sports Commission, and of course, the human chess dance presentation of the Dance Sports Cebu City.

Investigation won't be over before Challenge Cup

(This is a draft of my report for Sun.Star Cebu on March 3) THOUGH she filed a complaint with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), match commissioner Christy Ramos said she doesn’t expect it will lead to any suspension or penalty before next week’s Challenge Cup in Nepal.

AFC is the organizer of the Challenge Cup, where the Philippines made the main draw for the first time.

Ramos duty-bound to report locker room incident

(This is the draft of my report for Sun.Star Cebu for March 3) "PUBLICTY Stunt? What for?"

This was the reaction of match commissioner Christy Ramos on comments that her complaint for sexual harassment against Lexton Moy and Angel Guirado was a ploy to gain publicity.

Ramos, who is a former president of the Philippine Olympic Committee and an experienced match commissioner in Fifa and AFC organized tournaments, filed a complaint against Moy and Guirado with the Asian Football Confederation for their conduct during the routine pre-match check prior to the Philippines vs. Malaysia friendly last Feb. 29.

Fair Play: We drew Malaysia and it was beautiful

BEFORE last Wednesday, we played Malaysia in our first game of the Asean Championship (before it was called the Suzuki Cup and after Tiger Beer withdrew its sponsorship) in 2007 and it was a very agonizing affair.
That match, and everything that was happening in the sport actually, was cause for concern, especially after the promise shown by the team by taking the second spot in the Bacolod qualifiers in November.