Showing posts from December, 2014

Fair Play: A salute to 2 pillars of Cebu sports: Ricky and Ed

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Dec. 27 edition)
IT’S the time of the year when we hand out gifts and thank the people who made an impact in our lives. And before you line up in the office and say you’ve been nice and ask, “where’s my gift?” better scour the newsstands for the Dec. 25 edition of the paper and find out if you’ve made the list of nice folks who deserve gifts.

Since I wear my football hat, first on the list of course is Ricky Dakay, the president of the Cebu Football Association. Sir Ricky is quite an interesting interviewee. Because of his position, he also sits in the PFF Board of Governors, he knows a lot and is a great source of information. But, he doesn’t want to talk about himself and what he has done.

Fair Play: Yearend review: A lookback in 2015

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Dec. 29 edition)
YEP, you read that right. That’s not a typo. Boy , did I have quite a night last night. It must have been one quirky bug--or one hell of a wine--but I found myself chatting with 36-year-old me on Dec. 29, 2015.

I kid you not. April 1 is four months away and Innocents’ Day was two days ago, so this is not a prank. I mean, do I ever waste your time writing nonsense here?

So, after asking about some lottery numbers from my 2015 self, I asked him how the year went for sports.

Fair Play: Here's to Naga hosting more sports events

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Dec. 22 edition)
THE City of Naga got controversial this year because it dared to cut trees for a sports oval. I won’t go to the pros and cons of that move as guys more knowledgeable than I have offered their take, in a highly-publicized way.

But I think Naga City’s plan to put up an oval with a football pitch on it can contribute to the environment.

How so? Take Cebu City for example.

Fair Play: Former Wallaby star helps out Cebu rugby

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Dec. 20 edition)
HERE’S a not so well-known fact: thanks to an underwear ad, Philippine rugby got noticed. Years back, some members of the Philippine national team posed for an underwear ad that was placed in a strategic location and had politicos fuming mad.

Why they got mad over guys in underwear but never raised a pip over scantily clad women all over mass media was one of the reasons folks began asking more about the picture, hence the Philippine Volcanoes getting noticed.

Fair Play: 'Tis the season to be merry for fight fans?

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Dec. 17 edition)
IT seems Christmas is bright for boxing fans, with their present due to be opened six months from now.

But would they really have something to look forward to this May? Or would they be in for another disappointment?

Floyd Mayweather Jr., after years of dodging Manny Pacquiao if you take the side of the boxing icon’s fans, has finally agreed to fight the boxer-turned-congressman-turned boxing coach in May next year, realizing a fight that fans have been salivating for for years.

Fair Play: Messy politics leaves volleyball in the muck

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Dec. 15 edition)
NEXT to basketball, what's the most popular sport in the country? Football is making strides, and so is running. But do you know what sport could lay claim as the Number 2 sport in the country and one that has mass appeal?


Lately, domestic volleyball has taken tremendous strides, there's the V-League and the Super Liga, and the collegiate scenes in Manila and Cebu are also both crowd drawers.

Fair Play: What now after Suzuki Cup exit?

(Here's my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Dec. 13 edition)
THERE we go again.

After the semifinal stage of the Suzuki Cup, we are on the outside looking in for three straight editions, this time losing to powerhouse Thailand, 3-0, in the second leg.

First it was to Indonesia in 2010 and then to Singapore in 2012 but this year's loss stung the most, and it also extended our goalless drought in the semifinal stage of Southeast Asia's premier tournament to 540 minutes.

I cheer for the Azkals because Azkals

(A rejoinder to Miguel N. Bermundo)
Where are the linkages between the street football communities and the Philippine national team?
That's a good question. That's a question folks outside Manila has been asking, too, for years before the Azkals came into prominence.
But, I tell you, a player from Cebu, Tacloban, Davao or Mindanao has more chances, now, of making the national team than before. Before, it was all about the Air Force, the Army or the Navy, or, if you're lucky, you'd get noticed if you happen to know a friend who knows a friend who knew about the national senior team tryout. Was that better than getting the Fil-Foreigners abroad?

Fair Play: A crazy dream: A win against Thailand!

DREAMS are weird right? Sometimes, you remember only that last moments, those fleeting moments just before you wake up.

Well, I had one last night. Stuck on a hospital bench that was a bit too small, the only thing good about my sleep was that crazy dream I remembered waking up.

Misagh Bahadoran celebrating like crazy against Thailand. All I remember was Misagh screaming like crazy to the camera and jumping on to player wearing a substitute's bib.  

Feedback: The sorry state of Rizal Memorial Stadium

FEEDBACK. Here's a feed back from a reader:
Mike, me and my son heeded the Azkals for support during the home game. Now, for future games may the Azkals management heed the fans voice. Last Saturday, RMS is continually degrading.
We sat at the bleachers section thinking that it would be fun. It was but the facilities are not. About 5000 fans were made to contend with six unlighted portalets. Worse, I asked the ushers if there was any CR available an usher answered that the walls can be used. i said that I wont do it because only animals do it and what kind of example would be to my son.
Though there was ample food especially done by family mart, the compound is dirty. Attendance was not full and I am of the opinion that if Manila can not fill it up then Panaad or Cebu should host the Azkals' next important games. Why reward Manila when it is not cooperative? Reward Panaad and Cebu. I am from Manila but I hope Panaad and Cebu gets to host the next games."
My take: I have…

Fair Play: It takes a community to set a world record in football

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Dec. 6 issue)
OFFICIALLY, there are only 36 players involved in the Kick for Life FM101, the attempt to set the longest football match in the world.

But unofficially, there’s a whole community involved.

I dropped by San Roque Parish last Thursday and saw it for myself. There’s the army of cooks from Subangdako, the tanods and the policemen.

Sigurado-a nga gwapa mi dong ha,” said one of the cooks as I was taking her picture.

Fair Play: Dilapidated CCSC better than white elephants

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Dec. 4 edition)
SOMEONE posted this comment (edited) on my column about Cebu football.

A Wilfred Labidez wrote, “You have so many tournaments but pitches and stadiums are not well-maintained. How can you hold Azkals games if your facilities are too small for international competitions? You can’t even compete in the UFL because of no sponsors, so Cebu football will be only for Cebu.”

He’s right about the first part. Our facilities and stadium are not well-maintained. But if there’s one thing about the Cebu City Sports Center—one that leads some sports fans like me to scratch their head--is that it’s not just a sports facility. It has got be the country’s most overused facility as it also hosts field demonstrations, the Sinulog celebration, prayer gathering and what-have-you.

Fair Play: Be the 12th man for the Azkals

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Dec. 3 edition)
Hey, let me tell you something obvious.  A homecourt advantage only becomes an advantage if it is actually a homecourt.  No, I'm not talking about the physical aspect of playing at home; I am talking about the advantage of playing in front of home fans who are so biased that they'd heckle the referee for daring to say, call a handball on a home player even if he dunks the ball.

I'm exaggerating but yes, that's what we need against dangerous Thailand in the first leg of the Suzuki Cup semifinal round.  We haven't beaten Thailand, in 40 years they say, and the last time we met we went home whimpering, 3-0.

Fair Play: Are you ready for (lots of) football?

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Dec. 1 edition)
AFTER a lull for a few months, the Cebu football community enters its busiest stretch for the year.

There was the 3rd Sun.Star Cup last week, and then Gabrielle’s Symphony and another football festival after that and then of course, comes Cebu’s biggest tournament--and one of the Philippines biggest and longest-running--the Aboitiz Football Cup.

Of course, aside from the tournaments, there’s the attempt by the BPO football community to set the world-record for the longest-football match in the world. They will play at San Roque Parish for 101 straight hours starting on Dec. 2.