Friday, October 31, 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.

Monday, October 27, 2014

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

(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.


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

Saturday, October 25, 2014

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.

Monday, October 20, 2014

(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.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

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.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

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.

Monday, October 13, 2014

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.