Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fair Play: From champions to champions (First of a series)

IN THE final article in Sun.Star Cebu that Miguel Caindec and Christian "Jico" Noel were mentioned, the two former Don Bosco Technical Center standouts said they hoped to raise the flag of Cebu high when they take up college in Manila.  Also mentioned in that article was John Daniel Caballero, who opted to stay in Cebu.

The article, "From buddies to national champions," came out on June 1, 2011 and less than two years later, the two have delivered.

After a one-year rest due to an injury, Miguel is doing what he does best, scoring big time in a final.  The former elementary and high school Palarong Pambansa champion scored five minutes from time to seal San Beda College's third straight

NCAA title.  And, curiously, Neil Dorimon, a Don Bosco Boys Home alum, scored the first goal for San Beda in their 2-0 win over Arellano in the final.

Miguel's proud Mom Marites--who I met during that disappointing 2007 Palarong Pambansa when their team, after playing almost five games in two days, lost in the finals--told me that Miguel took a year off due to a torn ACL.  Now, the 18-year-old marketing major is back at his best, delivering four goals in eight games for San Beda, coached by Philippine Football Federation technical director Aries Caslib.

Marites says Miguel hopes to make it to the Azkals one day, or even play in the UFL if given the chance.  I'm hoping that Miguel's coach, will endorse him for a trial with the Under 19, or even Under 21 national teams.  

Jico is also making waves, and the defender's stellar play for Ateneo de Manila has earned him a few nods and an endorsement for Best Defender in the UAAP by Rick Olivares.  Jico also has a kababayan and a fellow DBTC alumn in Ateneo, which was to play for the title as I was writing this, Valentino Calvo.  The freshman has brought his golden boot that also brought a  Palaro title for Don Bosco to Ateneo and earning a glowing endorsement for Rookie of the Year from Ricky also.

The three's feat in Manila is matched by their former teammates conquest in Cebu, as the DBTC high school players that won the 2011 secondary title in the Palarong Pambansa have signed up with the University of San Carlos (USC) and the University of San Jose-Recoletos.

And in 2011, USC ended its title drought with a penalty shootout win over the University of Southern Philippines, marking an auspicious debut in the college scene for Caballero and DBTC teammates Leonard Tan and Ethan Decena.  USC went on to win the Prisaa national title, a first for Cebu.

A year later, USC lost the title in a thrilling finale to college powerhouse University of San Jose-Recoletos, a team that had DBTC alums Raphael de Guzman and a few others whose names my source for anything DBTC-related has overlooked.

The players’ success in their college teams is a testament to the Don Bosco program, but last year, another school has taken over DBC’s dominance in the high school scene—the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu.

Like the DBTC players, it would be interesting where the current batch of Magis Eagles players go when they take up college.  

Now you know when the next part of this series will come out.

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