Showing posts from February, 2014

Fair Play: Army frowns on EdSa call up?

This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's March 1 issue

BACOLOD City---The Philippines will have its first international game today  under coach Thomas Dooley, against familiar foes Malaysia  and to be honest, I don't expect the team to win.

Not only are we facing Malaysia, a team we haven't beaten, this game might as well be also the first time the re-tooled national team will be playing as a team for the first time.

The last two games against Malaysia both ended in a draw, with neither team scoring the last time around.  The two games before that all saw the Malaysians winning, 4-0, and 4-1.

Fair Play: Is Dooley just another OJT coach?

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Feb. 24 issue)
ONE of the most astute comments I read when the Philippine national team was looking for a coach to replace Michael Weiss was that of the need for the Azkals not to appoint another OJT coach--or one who’s just learning his ropes.

Like coach Michael Weiss, Thomas Dooley has never handled a senior men’s national team before and one said, “The Philippines doesn’t need another on the job trainee coach.”

Fair Play: Switching nationalities in sports

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Feb. 22 issue)
A FEW writers have spoken up in favor of the naturalization of JaValee McGee and Andray Blatche for Gilas Pilipinas. One, writing for, said should the process push through, there’s no point calling any of the naturalized athletes an import and that we’ll be fielding an all-Pinoy team in the Fiba World Cup.

He also paraphrased Rick Olivares and asked, “What’s wrong with naturalization? None!”

He’s right of course. But he also got it wrong.

Fair Play: The chicken and egg theory of the PSC/POC

Late last year, there were reports that folks from the PSC and POC were considering letting the men's football team compete in the Asian Games.  A surprising move since the same officials slammed the door on the team in the SEA Games for failing to meet their absurd criteria.

“Since there is no age requirement in the Asian Games as it is open to all players, we will field the Azkals in the Asian Games so they can test their skills and gauge their competence among the top Asian teams,” PSC chairman Ritchie Garcia told a national paper. 

Fair Play: Are all the wheels in sync in Don Bosco's football machinery?

THE Palarong Pambansa is the most difficult title to win in school football and now, Don Bosco Technological Center has a chance to win two after its elementary and high school teams won the Cviraa title recently.

Winning the Cviraa isn’t quite an easy feat but Don Bosco, especially its elementary team, has seemed to make it a habit these past few years and the latest triumph is yet another boost to the Don Bosco brand of football but beneath the veneer of invincibility, are there cracks in the program?

Fair Play: Will Dooley inspire team's confidence?

THERE was a moment that I really found odd during our loss to Singapore to Singapore in the second leg of the 2012 Suzuki Cup semifinals and it didn't happen on the pitch.

It came during an injury break, I think, as the players were near the touchline and Chris Greatwich, approached one of the players to relay something, while taking furtive glances at Coach Michael Weiss, as if afraid that he'd snap at him.  Before coming over, Greatwich spent time in the US as a coach, and I'm pretty sure there were moments when some of his players would also chip in in coaching without the head coach barking up.

Fair Play: A citizenship is worth more than a dunk

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Feb. 10 edition)
SO MY column supporting the move against the naturalization of NBA star JaValee McGee touched a raw nerve. Ignorant, uninformed and inconsistent were just the few words thrown my way.

Let me simplify it for those who equate the refusal to support the naturalization of McGee to refusal to support Gilas Pilipinas—if Gilas wants to naturalize McGee, let him go through the process, not expedite it, because that sends the wrong message.

Fair Play: Why Cebu's Olympic dream is crazy

IN 2005, when I covered the beach volleyball event in the Southeast Asian Games, the Philippines Team B played so badly that I wrote that “It seemed Cebu’s average collegiate teams could have beaten them.”

The story, which also saw print in Sun.Star Bacolod, attracted reproach and the paper’s sports editor told me the next day, “You’re so nasty, those are our players.”

Fair Play: The best Filipino money can buy

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Feb. 3 issue)
I have, in the past, disagreed with UC Law School Dean Baldomero Estenzo’s views on basketball players’ eligibility, especially in the Cesafi, but in his latest move, I salute him and support him.

It’s a crazy move, one that would be ridiculed and despised but I laud him for standing up.

Fair Play: A different kind of Suroy-Suroy Sugbo

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Feb. 1 edition)
I KNOW the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo program of former Gov. Gwen Garcia, which has been continued in Gov. Hilario Davide III’s term, is a big hit as it promotes tourism in the towns, I hope the Provincial Government will look at the sports landscape in the province and see the potential of another program.

One that might need just a little push to become the next big thing and I’m talking about tapping the vibrant running and triathlon community in Cebu.