Sunday, March 25, 2012

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. 

While he was growing up, it was always Doc Joel--the original Paolo Pascual—who accompanied his son in tournaments. In fact, it was during a tournament in Iloilo in 2005 that I first met Doc and returning home from that tournament, sharing the first of many beers, I learned that we grew up in the same Mindanao town (although about 16 years apart) and that his father was my father’s boss.

And now, whenever we get the chance to watch our kababayan’s son on TV, our Polomolok gang—Mark, Albert, Harry, Joel and me—would be at the Azkals Sports Bar (I only drink, after office hours of course).

As he explained to me back then, he’s in charge of the sports activities of Paolo, while his wife Chona, also a dentist, takes care of the academic side.  Besides, if your son is a goalkeeper, I don’t think it’s advisable for moms to watch their games.

Whenever Paolo’s got televised games in the UFL, his mom spends most of the time praying, while stealing a few glances here and then but last Sunday she was in U-Mak for the first time with Nina, a peculiar twist that sort of shows The Keeper upstairs knows his thing.

If you ever end up in a hospital, whether you’re 10, 20, 30, or even 40 years old, you know having your mom there is a plus.
“She was thinking what any other mom would think,” Doc Joel told me. “But swerte na lang sad nga naa sya digto and she got to take care of him.”

As for Doc? He told me if he was there during that incident. “I’ll be taking pictures first before ko muduol.”

By the way, it was an unfortunate injury for Paolo, who has been advised to sit it out six weeks and if Chieffy sees the replay, he might realize he was wrong at that time.  Make no mistake, Chieffy’s one of my favorite players and he’s really quick, but in that incident, he may have overestimated his speed a bit.

Paolo clearly had the ball and Chieffy should have let him but he went on to contest him and mind you, it was not in the dying minutes of a knockout match, where challenges like that are accepted.

And his six-week rest comes when Paolo had a solid game for the U21 in Brunei, where the coach told him, “You’re not human, you’re a god!” And I’m sure Paolo’s confidence going to the Air Force match was sky-high.

But then again, like I said, this unfortunate injury may turn out to be fortunate for Paolo. (The Keeper up there sure knows his thing.)  Ever since he tried out for the senior team and getting signed by Global, he hasn’t had a real vacation back in Cebu, so these six weeks will be a vacation he never planned.

Which bring us to Global, since their sub keeper likes the color red, and they don’t have a third keeper, I asked Dan who will be the designated sub in the next few weeks.

“I’m glad there’s one week off for Holy Week break, so Carli or Val will be it, geez,” he replied. 
Carli de Murga, of course, had a clean sheet subbing for the ejected Neil Etheridge in the Challenge Cup, while Val Calma was also forced to play keeper when Jerome Sylvain first got ejected. 

Good luck with your goal keeper problems, Dan.

By the way, the crowd at UMak last Sunday showed the fans miss Division 1 action, and if the UFL pushes through with its plan to hold matches outside of Manila, any game involving the four teams last Saturday would be a hit, especially a Stallions FC game in Iloilo, or a match in Cebu involving Global or Kaya.

It’s a given, of course, that if the UFL comes to town, there should be a home game for Cebu Queen City United, maybe against Pachanga?

Right, Santi?


cul_jah said...

hi sir mike, am not updated on current situtation of cebu football fields, just wondering where we can held these games if ever we'll have 1 in cebu.

the only field i know that is well maintained is the one @ don bosco home, cotcot liloan.

Mike Limpag said...

Cebu city sports center on rehab, will be finished by june. Usc stadium will also be done by june. I think aboitiz sports field can also host these games but im not sure because i havent been to that field. :-)