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Showing posts from March, 2013

A cheers for the pioneers

RICK Olivares's article on the guys who covered Philippine football got me musing about those times.

I got into journalism by accident. As a sophomore BS ECE student at the University of San Carlos, I woke up late for enrollment (which isn't the smooth process as it is now) and as a result, had a grand total of four subjects (including lab) for the semester.

Fair Play: Doing 9K on a really Clear Head

I consider 2006 as the year the Philippines joined the footballing world.  Though we've had decent results in the AFF Tiger Cup two years prior--earning that first point and first win--it was that year when the Philippines hosted its major international event, the qualifiers for the then AFF Championships in Bacolod. A year before, Bacolod also hosted the Southeast Asian Games, but that's a U23 event.

And guess what, we were humbled, 2-1, in the very first game at home.

PHL sets new mark with 8-0 win

THE Philippines took control of Group E after an epic match that had everything--a deluge of goals, rain, two stoppages and a sending off--against Cambodia in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup qualifiers at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Riding on Stephen Schrock's sleek feet and ball control, a Phil Younghusband at his peak form and a promising Javier Patino on his debut, the Philippines notched its best win in the modern era, routing a hapless Cambodia squad, 8-0, to top Group E on goal difference.

Both the Philippines and Turkmenistan have six points, thanks to an automatic 3-0 after Brunei’s withdrawal but the Azkals have the lead with 11 goals.  Turkmenistan, which will face the Philippines next, beat Cambodia, 7-0, last Friday.

Fair Play: Why grown ups should stop playing games

"I've seen grown ups play games to the detriment of the game," that's what Tony Moraza of Aboitiz said during the Cebu Football Association general assembly last March 18.

And that's basically what holds back sports in this country, adults playing games. Or in a nutshell, politics.  Politics’ latest victim? The Philippine Volleyball Federation, but that’s a different story.

Fair Play: Brunei pulls a disappearing act

DUE to unavoidable circumstances--which is diplo-speak for 'Crap, we need a valid excuse, now!'--Brunei will skip the AFC Challenge Cup Group E qualifiers, rendering plans for Friday's gatherings of footie fans all over the country moot.

And of course, putting a monkey wrench in the preparation of the Local Organizing Committee, the Philippine Football Federation and generating a collective "What the _____ from teams like India, Bangladesh and Laos.

Cut the crap, Global

MY NO. 1 pet peeve in football is when players do shitty stuff in injury time to delay the game.  

It's comical, stupid and sets a bad example.

Players in regulation who wouldn't bat an eyelash in 50-50s and run at full speed after getting tackled,
would suddenly, in injury time, fall from a tackle that wouldn't hurt a butterfly or worse, from a phantom 
tackle.

Cebu in AFF Super League?

TANAWA ra gud ni atong mga misis," CFA president Ricky Dakay said to a group of guys an hour or so after the Cebu Football General assembly.

"Ingun mananghid ra mupauli, pero dugay kaayo."

Fair Play: A chat with Dan Palami

"Chieffy or Angel?"

That's what team manager Dan Palami asked me back when I asked him when the final lineup for the AFC Challenge Cup would be released.

"I already know it," he said and grabbed my notebook and drew his formation. "There's only one spot in question."

How the mighty has fallen

FOUR or even three years ago, a football player in the Philippines who wants to make a career in the game can do so by signing up with the teams of the Armed Forces of the Philippines--Navy, Army or Air Force.

For years that was the route, not just for footballers.  Play with the national team and get a not so decent allowance, sign up with the military to complement that allowance.

Fair Play: Will March 16 be a Don Bosco day?

IF you ever consider yourself a fan of Bosconian football, you should be at the Aboitiz Sports Field today, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Five Don Bosco teams are in the finals of the Aboitiz Football Cup against five different teams, and that paints a nice picture of Don Bosco football.

Fair Play: Army's Betita deserves a Balkman ban

PETRON Blaze Boosters import Renaldo Balkman went bonkers in the final seconds of their loss to the Alaska Aces, harassing three officials, his assistant coach, a few teammates and eventually lunging at the throat of Arwind Santos who only tried to pacify him.

The result? The PBA has banned the former New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets player from the PBA for life.

Fair Play: Our Challenge Cup challenge

COACH Michael Weiss told me a few weeks ago that he knows his job is on the line if the Philippines fails to make it to the 2014 Challenge Cup.

And I agree, after a third place finish in 2012, failing to make it would be a disaster, especially that we're hosting the qualifiers.

Fair Play: Integrity issues in BPO football, running

WAY before anybody has heard of the Azkals, I pushed for support for inter-BPO football competitions from the Cebu Football Association (CFA). Back then, there were inter-BPO tournaments that barely survived and I thought support from the CFA would be a boost to these tournaments.

Fair Play: UAAP rule robs Cebuano star of choice

THERE are some things I don't like in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi), particularly on how the league is slow to react to the times.

But this I have to say, I'm so glad--go-break-out-the-bar-and-party-all-night-glad--that the Cesafi isn't as backwards as the UAAP.

Fair Play: The Burly and the Best

I got to the Cebu Country Club (CCC) three hours earlier than usual because it was the final round of the PAL Interclub men's tournament and I was still almost late.

At about the same time last year, when I got to the media center, the place was abuzz.  Cebu was in the brink of losing its lead in the final round to Del Monte.  At least that's what I got from the Manila media men.  True enough, there was a nervous buzz, and for a while, Jovi Neri was pacing the course nervously, like a dad waiting for a daughter who was two hours late from a date.

Fair Play: Words we've yet to hear from candidates

OFFICIALLY, the campaign season for local bets haven’t started but in the Philippines, there’s no distinction between the unofficial and official campaign season.

PJ Padajun Jud Garcia is doing his thing, so is Junjun Davide. The same holds true for their representatives in the radio booths. That’s the case, too, for Mayor Mike Rama and Rep. Tom Osmena.