Tag Archive: football


Injured Archers Captain Sebastián Ocio shed tears of joy and let out a primal scream as he lifted the Philippine Cup above his head after his team’s masterclass performance at the Stadio L’Arciere Thursday afternoon. The Archers won against local upcoming team FC EKARNA, 7-3, in what would be a wonderful ending for what would have been a normal season for the Verdeneri.

Englishman, Gareth Ross, scored a hat-trick while crafty veteran Lucio Prieto added a brace. Home fans thought the score would hold to 2-1 up to the break but then Jesús Ángel Díaz scored an equalizer at the 31st minute. The home support erupted again, though, after Iranian Shahin Afand scored for the home side to take the lead 8 minutes after. EKARNA’s new signing, Dags Stepanovs, was able to get a consolation goal in the 89th minute.

This cup is the first in club history and the first major trophy the club has had in its entire existence.

“The club, the team, and the fans all deserve this moment!” Archers boss owner, Jimbo, told media right after the match.

“At times we thought we were lucky and the result could have been different in another day. But today I am proud of my boys and what we have achieved this day. We have come out empty handed too many times and to be finally standing on top of the podium feels like a blessing from God. I thank God, the players, and the fans who have supported us through thick and thin.”

When asked whether the club would undergo some changes in the coming season his simple reply was “I see we changing a few players in some positions. The rest of the team, I am happy with.”

With the Archers’ fantastic start to its season and a recent win against perennial UFL powerhouse Blue Wave FC, can the Archers finally call itself a Philippine super power in football? Team owner and manager Jimbo certainly thinks so. In his recent press conference after the match, Jimbo spoke about his current squad and how different it was when the team spent buckets on big time players.

“What’s different with this squad from past seasons is that we are relying more on skill this time instead of splashing the cash on a few players who can do everything. Specialization is key.” Jimbo told media Friday after the game

“Are we a powerhouse? I think we are strong, so yes I think you can say that. But we are long ways from the teams of the past. We were a lot stronger 10 seasons ago. But then again, all the other teams were stronger 10 seasons ago too. We are not as rich as before and we need to be wiser in spending. Hence our current resurgence in our youth ranks. I like the direction of our club and its players.” the big boss added

The Archers go against Dumaguete Dynamos on Sunday afternoon.

Notes: Iranian newcomer Shahin Afand scored 2 goals in the match and 4 out of his last four matches for the Verdeneri. José Enrique Vigil was not available for the match due to suspension.

AP

The Archers are off to a great start with a 3-0 record and conceding only one goal so far while scoring seven. The Archers may have lost key players due to transfers but have found ways to improve their performances through a formation change and addition of more efficient players like forward Shahin Afand and defensive phenom Gaspar ‘The Shadow’ Alonso.

“I love our start. But if history is going to tell us anything is that good starts doesn’t mean anything unless you can keep it up for most of the season. But we’re lucky sometimes” Jimbo told AP

“It’s only going to get more difficult. We have to juggle players depending on injuries, suspensions, and international tournaments. We are elated that we were able to qualify for international tournaments again. The monetary benefits will be useful to our continued resurgence in the UFL.”

The Green Archers are sitting 2nd behind tiNabaL RepubLic in the UFL standings after 3 matches. The Verdeneri have beaten last season’s champs, Scape United, 0-3. The team goes against kloxz on Wednesday in what would be an entertaining match.

-AP

Archers manager/owner Jimbo told media that the team will most probably have to win its match against Blue Wave FC to get the third spot in the UFL to avoid a more difficult qualifying road to the RoW League group stage. The Archers are currently tied in points with Blue Wave with kloxz and Victorious Secret not too far behind.

“Securing third will be our goal right now. But it is proven that it will not be an easy task with our current level of talent. We are not as big as we used to be with some of our guys getting older. But with have an interesting mix of young and not so young players. We’ll see what happens.” Jimbo told media

“We are lucky to have an opportunity to reach the RoW League. We were close before but we were not so lucky. I hope our luck changes this term.”

The Archers have four matches remaining facing kloxz on Wednesday, FC EKARNA on Friday, facing Blue Wave on Sunday, and ending the season with Inter Ormoc Athletico on Wednesday next week.

Archers winger, José Enrique Vigil, was quick to point out after their defeat away to UFL newcomers, Local Brewery SC, that the team wasn’t their selves and looked tired for much of the contest. The established UFL side was stunned away from the Stadio suffering one of its most lopsided loss of the season, losing 3-0.

“It was a disappointing display for us. We played poorly and I apologize to the fans that we lost focus and steam in the game. We lost our mental edge and I think that is one that cost us the game.” The experienced winger told AP after the game

“We were not so clinical with our shots and much of them were wasted. It was a sad sight, I must admit. We were making the chances but we didn’t score. We were frustrated and it led to more misses. We must do better if we are to qualify for the Rest of the World Cup or League (RoW)” he added

The Archers face kloxz, next, who are experiencing their best seasons in the UFL so far placing fifth after 30 games. With only 4 league games to play, the Archers need to focus and play smart if they are to be successful in securing a RoW Spot this term.

Verdeneri captain, Sebastián Ocio, pointed out that the team’s renaissance in season 38 can be attributed to team work and harmony. The 27-year-old midfielder and Philippine international spoke to Archer Pride on how the club was able to turn around a dismal showing last season and be in contention for a top 3 spot this term.

“Coach Jimbo told us in the beginning of the season that the team is strong if we believe it to be. He shared stories about the Archer legends and how they never gave up even without any silverware. We are a proud club and we believe that we are in the right direction to get our first championship. We have to keep developing our youngsters and be brave. We play as a team.” the Archers captain told AP

“We have to keep sharing the ball and play as a team. We know we don’t have very potent scorers, unlike previous seasons. What we have done is make our passes more intelligent and precise. “

Ocio pulls the strings and anchors the defense in midfield. This makes things much easier on the other players.

The Archers are one of the hottest teams in the UFL at the moment winning their last 6 matches including 2 local cup matches. The team looks to add to their winning streak when they take on former UFL team, RP 5, in a local cup match later this afternoon.

Notes: The Archers have won 8 of its last 10 matches and have scored 42 goals while only conceding 7. Victories against lions of munich and Scape United highlight the team’s amazing run. A 4-2 loss to newly promoted side Real Madrid CR7 was a disappointing result for the club during the same 10 match stretch.

The Green Archers have again bolstered their youth squad with the additions of 16-year-olds Agustín Escudero and Martín Benítez. Escudero is a a native of Bacolod while Benitez hails from Makati City.

Agustin will quickly join the team for training starting Monday next week and will be given a chance to don the Green and Black once he completes his medical. Martin is set to join a team already loaded with defensive talents. He will be given a chance to play in the team’s left flank which is his natural position.

Archer youth standout, César Agudo, finally had his chance to start for the senior team last Thursday in a league match against Local Brewery SC. “The Power” as he is called for his physical strength and tall and bulky build had a rating of 6 which impressed both youth team manager Alfredo Varela and team owner and senior team manager Jimbo.

“Cesar is playing beyond his years. I liked how he looked calm in the match and took care of every attack that came his way. He always finds a way to improve his game. With a guy that tall coming at you, I can’t blame some players not wanting to take him head on.” Varela said

“His time will come. I hope he won’t grow impatient and rush things. He must take all the advice the senior team is giving him. He loves the team which helps a lot in his development.”

In other news, long time youth scout Jon Fernandez celebrates his 73rd birthday today. Happy birthday sir! We wish you more scouting days to come.

AP

Gilas Pilipinas (The Philippines’ Men’s Senior Basketball National Team name) has continued to struggle in the FIBA World Championships in Spain with losses to European teams Greece an Croatia. The tournament has not been kind to the country in a sport where size along with skill is important. Our opponents simply have too much size coupled with speed and reliable outside shooting. Is it enough just to have “puso” (heart) to rely on each and every game. We are considered the underdogs here and it shows in every game so far.

In my opinion it’s alright to play the game you love to play here in the country. Right now the country is basketball crazy and that is fueling the sport with large amounts of support from both the amateur and professional ranks. In every barangay (local town) there are basketball courts that are set up. These are not only used as play areas but as multipurpose areas used for drying rice and corn grains, holding special events, and shade from the summer sun. But what is the point of it all if you can’t be one of the best in the world at what you do? 

With the rising number of active football (soccer if you wish) fans in the country it is no wonder why there are more and more people voicing out their pleas to better support the local football federation in their efforts to bring up the sport where height is not much of an issue and could be an alternative sport to help the poor to get jobs in. Remember many good Brazilian footballers who have found teams who recruit and nurture their skills don’t come from well to do families. It’s pretty much more realistic than poor people here trying to be drafted by PBA teams or better yet, receive good training offered by only elite collegiate teams. To put my theory in perspective, I think there is a greater chance of a poor person, with average basketball skills, just looking for a decent job than to aspire for a college team with a good basketball program to take him in and train him to make his chances to reach the PBA. Now say we are a football country and we replace our covered courts with football fields and such. Now the same poor people play football, they will probably have a higher chance of attracting attention from other clubs (since there are football academies who take young children and develop their skills) but also the there are more players per team (Basketball has needs 5 players to start while football players need 11 players to start the team). It makes more sense if you ask me. I’m just thinking practical.

There are simply more teams looking for the next Messi or Ronaldo, than teams looking for the next Jordan or Bryant. Simple yet practical. The demand for promising, not necessarily good/great players, is simply more than the demand for promising (sometimes already polished) players of basketball and where height is a real plus. AND I MEAN A REAL PLUS (They won’t even consider you in the team in the pros if you’re under 5’5″ unless you’re really good). The recently concluded PBA Draft is also a telling tale of teams drafting polished talent, mostly Fil-Americans or foreign talent. There are simply not enough teams to draft most of the players available so their talents all go to waste, no other league will get them because of the skills required ALONG with the height. To make matters worse, one or two questionable draftees were drafted even though their amateur basketball skills are questionable, namely Congressman/Boxer Manny Pacquiao and his cousin Pac, too. Now that is a slap to the face of not only the league but also to the hard working amateur players who happen to not be political figures or own a team. This is just sad.

The quality of PBA players have diminished over time and gone are the glory days where we can compete against the rest of the world. Heck we have the “extra-rice” guy in the team! Nothing against him but that just shows the quality of our local players now.  

So there you go, my take on football as a Philippine sport for the future and the slow death of local professional basketball. Again these are my own personal opinion if you don’t agree then tough luck. If you agree then you are one of the thousands of growing number of fans realizing that basketball is a great sport to play for recreation but realistically don’t quit your day job for pursuing it as a profession.

Jimbo   

The Archers’ iconic captain told AP that the team has not played to its fullest capacity as of late and has dwindled its lead against local rivals Blue Wave FC to just a point after not being able to put away lions of munich FC last Wednesday. The game ended in a 3-3 stalemate where both Verala and Chica have made incredible individual efforts each scoring a hat-trick.

“We are simply not putting the title out of the reach of Blue Wave (FC)” the Philippine Eagle told AP

“We need to play near perfect in the coming weeks. A loss or a draw would be very devastating, both for the team and the fans. It’s war from now on, and we plan to take things one game at a time. We will do better and with the backing from the fans, we can do the impossible”

The thought of winning the title a few seasons ago was indeed a dream but now with an addition of key players like Verhassel, Al-Harthi, and Sheng, the Verdeneri can dream once again of a title that has long eluded the team since it’s founding in 2007.

AP