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Showing posts from October, 2014

Fair Play: Can UFL look to PBA for solution?

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 29 edition)
THE Azkals are again in the thick of preparation for the Suzuki Cup, Southeast Asia’s marquee football tournament, and once again, the club vs. country issue is raised.

What’s that? Players who play for their clubs—who pay for their salaries—have to be released during Fifa-designated dates for friendlies or tournaments.

Fair Play: Eat, sleep, wake up, play football (literally)

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(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct 27 edition)
AT 3 p.m. on Friday, the two teams started playing football. It wasn’t just an ordinary game because four hours later, a new set of referees took over to officiate the match.

In all, there would be 12 substitutions of three-man referee teams who would take four-hour spells to officiate for 50 straight hours, the longest continuous football match in the Philippines.

Impressed?

Well, that was just a dry run for the group’s real target—101 hours of non-stop football.

Fair Play: Villanfranca, the overlooked Cesafi MVP?

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 25 edition)
A FEW days before the Cesafi season started, I met former colleague Karlon N. Rama, who now teaches at the University of San Jose-Recoletos. I suggested that, for this season, USJ-R take the lead in doing what no other school in Cebu is doing—cover its own games in the league.

A Cesafi member school spends millions for its sports program, covering the Cesafi event would be a little return of investment. It also has a lot of advantages, aside from promoting your sports program, a Cesafi coverage could also be the training ground for the schools journalism or mass communication program.

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 20 edition)
IF NOT for archery, I wouldn’t be an architect. That essentially what started the Cebu City Sports Commission’s romance with archery, a love story that has it all--sacrifice, hardship, disaster, resilience and finally, success.

During a party in 2012, Dondon Sombrio, a Southeast Asian Games gold medalist for archery, and Ed Hayco, a champion of grassroots sports, met. Sombrio, an architect and a product of the public school system of the country, told the commissioner how archery got him an athletic scholarship.

And the plan to set the world-record in archery was born. Over dinner.

Fair Play: In PHL sports, the tail wags the dog

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 18 edition)
IN A scathing editorial after the fiasco that was the Asian Games campaign of the Philippines, a national daily proposed a shakeup of the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission to help improve the state of Philippine sports in the country.

While I have, in the past, hoped that the guys in charge of the PSC and POC be replaced for putting up policies detrimental to the growth of Philippine sports, I have to admit, they aren’t really the primary factor for the dismal showing of the Philippines in the Asian Games.

Fair Play: Yes, PNG's a foe Azkals need not face

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 16 issue)
WHEN I first learned that our favorite friendly foe Malaysia backed out at the last minute from playing in the Oct. 12 friendly with the Philippines, I thought, “There goes a match that we could have played as part of our Suzuki Cup preparation.”

International friendlies are not like your neighborhood lima-lima, you can’t set up one in under a week. So I was surprised the PFF managed to get one in Papua New Guinea but after that 5-0 win, some are asking, should we have bothered at all?

There are two lines of thoughts regarding this.

Fair Play: What's wrong with Cesafi schedule?

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 15 edition)
FIRST it was the football tournament. Now basketball, too?

Had the original schedule in football pushed through, the finalists of the Cesafi football tournament would have played back-to-back matches in two days, something that’s uncalled for in a tournament whose members just belong in one area.

I mean, it’s not like the Palarong Pambansa, which has small window for its games, hence back-to-back matches for the teams that come all over the country.

Fair Play: Help comes full circle

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 13 edition)
MUTABANG ko kay dako sad sila kaayo tabang nako. He told me minutes after arriving for the Football for Jacob coaches’ meeting of Leylam FC a few days ago.

I asked him if he was playing or coaching, but he said he was just there to help. Later, he gave a briefing on the rules.

He won’t be named in this story. But most in the Cebu football community know him. I’ve known him for almost 15 years, ever since my then editor told me to write a feature about this young man who was plucked from the streets and became one of the best players in town.
He was the topic of a conversation, too, months ago, with another old football player whom I used to cover.

Fair Play: Leylam FC spreads goodwill in football

ANYONE who finds himself an employee of Leylam FC should thank his or her stars for being so lucky. Or, if you are the religious type, go to your church, offer a prayer of thanks or light a candle.

Why? Consider the group's latest project--Goal for Jacob--on Oct. 19 at the Don Bosco Technological Center. Jacob is the son of one of the employees of Leylam and the 20-month-old boy suffers from club foot.

He needs a P200,000 operation and that's a medical procedure that even those who have high positions would find very steep.

Fair Play: Lessons kids can teach parents, fans

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 9 edition)
THE cops assigned to help keep the peace during the Cesafi football finals entered the football field, when there was a brief commotion involving the University of San Carlos and the University of Southern Philippines players.

I know they had good intentions, but they shouldn’t have done that. And that was the reaction of some of the Cebu Football Association officials, too. Though it looked ugly from the spectators’ point of view, the fraces was under control. The refs, and more importantly, the players themselves, got the few hot-headed players to check their emotions.

Fair Play: Why the USC Warriors should thank the weather

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 8 issue)
THE University of San Carlos men’s football team should offer a rain dance and thank the weather for the rain delay in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc.football finals.

Not only did the Warriors get an extra day’s rest, but the rescheduling of the high school finals between rivals Don Bosco Technological Center and Sacred Heart School-Jesuit Ateneo de Cebu meant they had the homecourt advantage against USPF.

Report: USC, DBTC score comeback wins in Cesafi finals

IT WAS the nightmare in 2011 all over again as University of San Carlos (USC) once again denied the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) the collegiate crown of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation (Cesafi) football tournament.

After a 3-3 draw in regulation, USC beat USPF, 5-3, via penalty shootout, repeating their 6-5 win in 2011.

This year was USPF’s perfect opportunity to snag the title and the Panthers seemed headed that way after Christian Millebo took advantage of a miscommunication by central defender Allain Abella and goalkeeper Jupre Aparece to score the opening goal in the 16th minute.

(To read full story. Please click this link)

Fair Play: How about women's football in Cesafi?

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 6 issue)
WHAT happened to the University of San Carlos men’s football team? I saw the Warriors semifinal encounter against former champion University of Cebu, which beat them in the group stage, and they seemed like a team transformed.

To say that they played a beautiful game was an understatement. Despite the muddy field that rendered the field close to unplayable, their passing game was nothing short of brilliant. Their goal even came from a play that started with the keeper, and six passes later that left the UC defense scrambling, John Arizabal ran to the bench to celebrate that magnificent piece of teamwork.

Fair Play: Busy stretch for Cebu football

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 4 issue)
IT WAS fun seeing Marbel FC in the Group D qualifiers of the PFF Smart Cup at the Cebu City Sports Center last Wednesday. Though they lost, I saw some familiar faces--and familiar plays.

I grew up in Polomolok, South Cotabato, which is just 45 minutes away from Marbel, and our towns share quite a rivalry which had an unfortunate streak spanning three years that saw at least one player get seriously hurt.

UC Erco dumps Tagum, advances to next round of PFF Smart Cup qualifiers

(This is my story for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 4 edition)
A DEFENSIVE adjustment paid offensive dividends for University of Cebu-Erco, as it routed the visiting University of Mindanao-Tagum, 5-1, in their final match of the Group D qualifiers of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Smart Cup Club championships in the Cebu City Sports Center.

UC-Erco finished the qualifiers with six points on two wins, and will advance to the quarterfinal round along with Group E winner, Laos, which also scored a 5-1 win over Cagayan yesterday.

Fair Play: Green Loop? Why not green sports

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 1 edition)
THE purpose of the organizers of the Green Loop experiment is noble and whether the experiment was a success or not--I'd leave that to the writers in the opinion pages--a pro-environment movement is something a dirty urban city needs.

Though it depends on which side of the fence you are sitting, closing the roads for the Green Loop was either a disaster or one big success, but closing the roads of Cebu isn't something new. We do that regularly for events like the Ironman, the Cebu Marathon and other sports events where the organizers managed to secure a permit.