Tag Archive: soccer


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   

Archers boss, Jimbo, talked to AP about his team’s title run demise at the hands of local rivals and father time. The vocal owner, further told AP that he does not plan to give and says that one last title push is possible even with a lot of aging squad members.

“This season shows all aspiring teams that it is possible to reach 2nd, 3rd, or 4th by buying some good players. But it takes a lot of heavy investing to win a championship. I have told people before, that I would shock the world, and I may have come short on a few occasions but I think we are poised for a strong push in the next season. Changes? I would sell a few and but one or two good players to help out in the effort, but I won’t guarantee this. We need to spend wisely this time unlike past spending ventures.” The 28 year old manager/owner told AP.

“We are not a young team. I’m almost certain that we will lose some people to retirement in about two to three seasons. I’m not that worried, though. We have a lot of talented young players waiting in the reserves. They are not as strong as the old guard but they are definitely capable. We are working to get a great midfielder or defender in our lineup next season, but it’s not a guarantee. We ask the fans to be patient. We will win this someday, may it be next season or in twenty seasons.”

The team was also disappointed at how the team crumbled towards the later half of the campaign ruing lost games to weaker opposition. AP spoke to Archer Captain Alfredo Varela about the team’s reaction to a possible 2nd place finish.

“No one is happy to be honest. We were, at one point, shaking our heads and wondering what happened. We started so strong and we crumbled. We had bad games, a lot of decisions didn’t go our way. It’s sad, I don’t know if all of us can every recover from this. We tried so hard. But I guess trying is not enough. Some teams are more lucky than you, stronger than you, hungrier than you. We were not that team, and it showed in the end.”

The Archers will face, now crowned UFL champions, Blue Wave FC.

Newly acquired Dutch midfielder, Isaac Verhassel, is showering praise on his teammate Alfredo Varela.

“I have seen his goals and how he plays. he is a true legend in this club and the country. I have seen him play for the country in an international level. Of course he has lost some of his youthful legs but he can be very dangerous in important matches. He is the team’s leader, and everyone here respects him.” The Archers number 2 said to AP

Notes: Isaac Verhassel has scored 12 times for the Archers in the UFL this term, the most in the league after 12 matches. Comedian Joey De Leon and Vic Sotto was spotted in attendance. Varela started on the bench and was subbed in after the hour mark.