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Old February 25th, 2011, 03:48 AM   #21
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Biantan: ABS-CBN's gamble on Azkals pays off
Comment| More | By Jack Biantan


LONDON -- THE Philippines’ largest TV network ABS-CBN gambled on showing the Philippine Azkals matches over at its sister station Studio 23 in December last year.

Studio 23 showed all the Azkals matches during the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup in Vietnam.

Be updated with the latest reports on corruption. Visit our Corruption Monitor blog now!

It was a coup for ABS-CBN as millions of Filipinos tuned in to Studio 23 to enjoy the Azkals crushing the Vietnamese in the elimination round. Millions more watched as the Azkals met Indonesia in the semis.

The success of the Azkals made Filipinos converts to the beautiful game. Their Vietnam adventure was so successful that they out-rated the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in the TV ratings war.

Because of this success, the giant broadcast company then signed a one year contract with the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) to televise all the Azkals matches for 2011.


Studio 23

The Kapamilya network out-bid two other stations to show the Azkals matches. Beginning this year, Studio 23 started televising the matches, kicking off with the Mongolia match in the Asian Football Federation (AFC) Challenge Cup in Feb. 9.

It was another blockbuster as millions once again tuned in to Studio 23 when the Azkals thumped the Mongolians, 2-0. More than 20,000 fans also trooped to the Panaad stadium in Bacolod City to witness the historic event.

Whoever decided to give the contract to sign the Azkals broadcast rights is a genius. It has given our national players continued TV exposure.

That is the reason why the Azkals are all over ABS-CBN programs. You can find them daily in TV Patrol news, Bandila and many other feature programs like Rated K, including Boy Abunda's daily showbiz show SNN.


Power of TV

The power of television has made heroes out of the Azkals. Had the victory over Vietnam not been televised, would you think the Azkals would enter into the Filipino consciousness?

Aside from ABS-CBN, other TV networks have also joined the bandwagon of popularity of the Azkals. GMA 7, through its chief sports reporter Chino Trinidad, has given our football heroes air times in its news programs.

Even Jessica Soho has been bitten by the Azkal bug. Her latest feature included a segment of the Younghusband brothers endorsing their football academy.

Many football fans frown over the inclusion of some Azkals into show business. But does it really matter if our football heroes join or rather have a taste of showbiz?

Phil Younghusband has tasted showbiz for a while when he and his brother James quit the national team for two years because of their tiff with the previous PFF administration. He joined the GMA-7's show Duets with Celebrities.

He liked it at the start but later commented in a news interview that he disliked it because of the intrigues and gossips. “Ayoko na nang showbiz, and daming chimis,” he said. (I do not like showbiz anymore, there is so much gossip.)

As long as the Azkals do not sacrifice their football careers and do not get involved in scandals, there is nothing to worry. Let showbiz embrace them. GOD BLESS [email protected]

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/bacolod/sp...le-azkals-pays
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Old February 26th, 2011, 04:36 AM   #22
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New goalie for Azkals in 2nd leg vs Mongolia
Cedelf P. Tupas
First Posted 04:34:09 26/02/2011


BAGUIO CITY—Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has ruled himself out of the second leg of the Philippines’ AFC Challenge Cup qualifying series against Mongolia on March 15 in Ulan Bator.

With the group qualifying in Myanmar also scheduled March 20 to 31, the 21-year-old Etheridge will be away from his home club, Fulham of the English Premiere League, for close to three weeks, if the Azkals overcome the Mongolians.

This prompted the London-based Etheridge to skip the second leg, where the Azkals will be protecting a 2-nil advantage they earned at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod two weeks ago.

Etheridge confirmed his absence in a message to the Inquirer yesterday and expressed confidence that his replacement, Eduard Sacapano, is more than capable of manning the goal for the Azkals.

The 30-year-old member of the Philippine Army, who debuted for the national side in the AFF Cup qualifying against Timor Leste five years ago in Bacolod, is relishing the opportunity to make the start.

“No doubt, Neil (Etheridge) is always a big factor for us because of his experience and his skills,” said the Bago City-born Sacapano. “But I’m always ready to take on the challenge if I get the opportunity.”

The other players doubtful for the second leg are Rob Gier and Simon and Chris Greatwich, who are both based in the United States.

The Azkals’ German coach Hans Michael Weiss is confident the 5-foot-9 Sacapano will be able to deliver a solid performance in the second leg.

“From the beginning when I saw him here I was impressed with his performance,” said Weiss.

“He has already featured in several warm-up matches before the Mongolia match and he did his job fantastically. And now with the match ahead, I have no problems bringing him and I am sure he will deliver.”

Despite their advantage from the first leg and the talk of the Azkals already preparing for the second round of qualifying in Myanmar, Weiss said he is not looking past Mongolia.

“I am always in favor of bringing the strongest team but in this case when we can’t have everyone especially Neil then we go with Eduard and I’m not talking about Myanmar yet.”

http://www.inquirer.net/sports/artic...-Mongolia.html
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Old February 26th, 2011, 04:45 AM   #23
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Japan tune-up games for Azkals
By FRANCIS SANTIAGOFebruary 25, 2011, 6:43pm

MANILA, Philippines — German coach Hans Michael Weiss said the Philippine Azkals will play two Japanese university teams as part of their training camp in Japan starting March 7.

Weis said the matches will raise the team’s confidence as they prepare to meet Mongolia in their AFC Challenge Cup rematch next month.

The Philippine national football team wraps up its high-altitude training in Baguio City today as the 43-year-old Weiss looks forward for more challenging opponents in a bid to whip his boys into fighting form for the March 15 showdown in Ulan Bator, which ABS-CBN’s Studio 23 will continue to air live starting 12 noon.

“We’re hoping to arrange the matches on March 8 and 11,” Weiss said Thursday.

The matches are being arranged by the Japanese Football Association which agreed to host the Azkals’ training camp until March 12 in the J-League football facility in Fukushima, Japan.

The winter weather in Japan suits well for their preparation for the cold weather in Mongolia, which reportedly drops between -2 and -15 degrees Celsius.

“We still have to work on our rhythm,” said Weiss, who may miss four of his Fil-foreign players – goalie Neil Etheridge, Rob Gier and Simon and Chris Greatwich – because of various commitments.

“We still have to work on passing quality and the cohesion between midfield defense and backline.”

The Azkals close out their Baguio training today with another tune up match against a Benguet selection team. On Wednesday, the Azkals, powered by Phil Younghusbands’ four goals, crushed the Baguio-Benguet team in a friendly match, 9-1, before some 3,000 fans in La Trinidad, Benguet.

http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/306282...p-games-azkals
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Old February 26th, 2011, 04:52 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Maxxclip View Post
attention football footie

Finally, nat’l booters to get own pitch


MANILA---The National football team’s dream to play in its own pitch will soon become a reality.

The Philippine Football Federation has come to terms with charismatic El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde, who is donating 1.5 hectares of his prime property in Parañaque for the construction of an artificial pitch that will serve as the Azkals’ official training ground.

PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said the memorandum of agreement for the donation of the lot has already been signed and will be sent to the International Football Federation (Fifa), which will then discuss the project in its meeting on Feb. 28.

If the Goal Project 2 for the Philippines is approved next week by Fifa, the pitch will be ready in six months, Araneta said.

Velarde’s donation comes as another boost for the PFF, which has drawn more corporate support following the Azkals’ impressive run to the semifinals of last year’s AFF Suzuki Cup.

Araneta said Velarde plans to donate three more hectares if the joint venture for the construction of the grandstand pushes through.

“This is a welcome development for us,” said Araneta, a former national player himself. “We are very thankful to Bro. Mike for his help to Philippine football. This will definitely help improve our national teams, which have been homeless for quite some time.”

inq
How about the grandstand/stadium?
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Old February 26th, 2011, 05:01 AM   #25
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Know your Azkals: The double life of Aly Borromeo


Aly Borromeo is a man you wouldn’t want to mess with on the field. The moment he gets the ball, you have more or less zero chance of stealing it. It may not also be a great feeling being tackled by a 6’1" 190-pound bruiser.

Off the pitch, he’s an entirely different person – a shy, mellow, chocolate-loving Aly. He even has a hard time saying no to people, for goodness’ sake.

I know it’s difficult to imagine, especially if you’ve seen him with his game face on.


Don’t piss Aly off

His teammates agree that Aly is one of the most aggressive players among the Azkals. Simon Greatwich even says that he’s already gotten quite a few bruises from Aly.

“I always want the ball and take command. I get pissed if you don’t give it to me. I mean, I know my skills, and I’m asking for it because I know I can do something for the team. And I also don’t like seeing the opponent with the ball," he says.

It was worse when he was younger, what with his raging hormones.

“There was a rumble between Kaya and Air Force about ten years ago. I was still a kid back then and I got a few blows in. That was really funny," the 27-year-old laughs at the memory.

He’s more composed and calculated now. Aside from the red card he got in Maldives two years ago, Aly hasn’t been involved in any major scuffle. Usually, he’s even the mediator trying to calm things down.


“O, ikaw na captain"

Aly has suited up for the U-19 team, La Salle Greenhills, De La Salle University, Skyline College, Kaya FC and Global Smartmatic. He has played in all positions and was actually a goalkeeper until second year high school. Nothing’s prepared him though for his accidental “bump" to captaincy in 2004.

“It’s kind of a funny story. The captain back then, Bagets Piñero, and I both went up for a corner kick to head the ball out. I accidentally broke his nose. I broke my own teammate’s nose," he retells in disbelief.

“So he gave me the armband right there and said, ‘O, ikaw na captain.’"

Aly says he’s not a strict captain as long as you give your 110 percent. Errors are acceptable only for a first time.

“On the second time, I’m probably gonna shout at them. They’re gonna get scolded. I get pissed off with slight errors where they do things without thinking, and when they try to force things," he adds.



From cubbyholes to celebrity status

When I asked Aly about his worst experience with the Azkals, he honestly replied, “Where do I start?" They were named Azkals because they never had any support in the first place. Strays, literally.

“In previous tournaments, we would sleep in facilities that had no cushions and smelled like piss. One time, in Iloilo, we stayed in the middle of nowhere. It was really bad," he says.

Their fortune changed when they beat highly-favored Vietnam in the Suzuki Cup last year. The fame, the fans and the funds started pouring in.

“I’ve cried several times in games but this is different. On the 80th minute, the scoreboard said 2-0. I looked at Anton and we were both like, ‘Are you serious?’ After the game, I just hugged them all," he shares.

With their newfound success, the Azkals have been busy holding mall tours and endorsing different brands. The fan frenzy peaked in Bacolod.

“When we were in Bacolod, we had to use the backdoor to get out of the hotel. I literally had to sprint to get to the bus. We don’t even have time to be ourselves anymore. The fanaticism is crazy but it’s good for the sport. We’ve been waiting so long for this," Aly says.

A mellow Aly?

Aly says he’s very approachable and not aggressive at all when he’s not playing – the exact opposite of the number 11 we see on the field.

“I can’t even get mad at the help. And I have trouble saying no to people. That’s how bad it gets," he sighs (I’m surprised girls don’t take advantage of this “yes-man" attitude).

If he’s not busy playing football, this Filipino-American-Spanish is busy with his Play Station 3 or with the family business. Aside from those, chocolates and the gym are on top of his priority list.

“Honestly, if I have nothing to do, I’ll just be in the gym," he admits.
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Old February 26th, 2011, 06:01 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxxclip View Post
attention football footie

Finally, nat’l booters to get own pitch


MANILA---The National football team’s dream to play in its own pitch will soon become a reality.

The Philippine Football Federation has come to terms with charismatic El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde, who is donating 1.5 hectares of his prime property in Parañaque for the construction of an artificial pitch that will serve as the Azkals’ official training ground.

PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said the memorandum of agreement for the donation of the lot has already been signed and will be sent to the International Football Federation (Fifa), which will then discuss the project in its meeting on Feb. 28.

If the Goal Project 2 for the Philippines is approved next week by Fifa, the pitch will be ready in six months, Araneta said.

Velarde’s donation comes as another boost for the PFF, which has drawn more corporate support following the Azkals’ impressive run to the semifinals of last year’s AFF Suzuki Cup.

Araneta said Velarde plans to donate three more hectares if the joint venture for the construction of the grandstand pushes through.

“This is a welcome development for us,” said Araneta, a former national player himself. “We are very thankful to Bro. Mike for his help to Philippine football. This will definitely help improve our national teams, which have been homeless for quite some time.”

inq
hmmmm...and the big city again takes the opportunity on the football center and the Azkal's home turf from Western Visayas.

disappointing because everything is always being brought to the metro even though international football matches have been hosted by Bacolod since then.
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MOST BUSINESS FRIENDLY,CLEANEST AND GREENEST, BEST PLACES TO LIVE, SPORTS CENTER OF THE SOUTH, I.T. HUB, ECO-TOURISM HOTSPOT, ORGANIC FOOD HUB, ADVENTURE GATEWAY,FOOTBALL CITY, CONVENTION CITY
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Old February 26th, 2011, 08:04 AM   #27
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why is this thread hidden and not in the open?
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Old February 26th, 2011, 08:15 AM   #28
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why is this thread hidden and not in the open?
yeah why here mods? and why is the Filipino Athletes and Sports News Thread 2 in the Photography, Heritage and Architecture section?
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Old February 27th, 2011, 01:22 AM   #29
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yes..why?
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Old February 27th, 2011, 01:52 AM   #30
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Why? where do you want it then? I think its appropriate that its in Samahan like the other sports threads.
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Old February 27th, 2011, 04:00 AM   #31
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Mark who? It is deja vu for Baguio boy who scored against Azkals


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Feb.26 (PIA) – The crowd roared proudly when a local striker sporting No. 22 eluded Azkals skipper and defender Alexander Borromeo to score Baguio Pinikpikan’s

only but highly redeeming goal in that 1-9 mauling by the national squad here last Wednesday.


At game’s end, however, hardly anyone bothered to know who the lanky forward was.


The instant fans of football rushed to Phil Younghusband and the rest of the overnight celebrity team for photos and autographs before dusk fell on the Benguet State University grounds.


That single goal for Baguio came from Mark Signabon.


Mark who?


Well, he finished college as a football scholar at the St. Louis University and now teaches physical education at the Baguio Patriotic School.


He was that boy whose team from the Baguio Central School was also mobbed 11 years ago after they beat host West Visayas at the 2000 “Palarong Pambansa” in Bacolod.


The attack then was not by fans, but by the host West Visayas coach and some of his players. The host team just couldn’t not take its 0-1 defeat in the hands of Mark’s squad from the Cordillera. They wanted to maul the Baguio boys for tripping a formidable team representing the Football Capital of the Philippines.


“Ako rin ‘yong nag-goal do’n sa Bacolod, sa first half ng laro,” Signabon recalled after his own team’s debacle last Wednesday.


At the BSU grounds last Wednesday, the Pinikpikans had their sweet time toasting Signabon’s goal that came at the start of the second half. While the crowd roared, the team rushed to embrace him, shouting and punching the air in jubilation.


The Azkals, at least nine of whom are from West Visayas, couldn’t wait for the euphoria to fade out after Mark struck. Without waiting for the whistle signaling resumption, they set the ball at center and played on their own. One Azkal easily kicked in a goal which the referee didn’t count.


Heated up by Signabon’s surprise, the Azkal’s pounced on with six more goals for the 9-1 drubbing. They pressed on relentlessly, but high school goalie Nelson Gasic frustrated more than 10 other attempts in his exposure, part of his training with the regional high school team to the “Palarong Pambansa,” this time in Zamboanga. .


Pinikpikan coach Ariston Bocalan was happy with the result. He noted that four of the Azkal goals were penalty kicks. “At least our boys scored,” assistant coach Ana Umoc-Cabanilla added, referring to the RP team’s 2-0 blanking of Mongolia.


For Mark and most in his team, that lone goal was pure gold. It was as precious as any he had scored before. It was for teacher Lowen Golocan, their elementary school team coach. He had recruited and trained them for Bacolod 11 years ago, then prepared them for college scholarships as varsity players.


Golocan succumb to cancer a few days before the match against Azkal. Six of those in the elementary squad he formed, including Mark, were reunited at his wake and funeral. Those six also played with the team last Wednesday.


Nestor Udan, now assistant coach of the SLU men’s squad, was player No. 18. Striker . Mark Ed Lusung wore No. 8. Leopoldo Telcagan sported No. 10. Arvin Ogbinar donned No. 6 and Joseph Sotelo had No. 3.


SunStar
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Old February 28th, 2011, 02:13 AM   #32
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Azkals train on artificial turf for Mongolia game
By Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star)
Updated February 28, 2011 12:00 AM Comments (5)

MANILA, Philippines - After their high-altitude training camp in Baguio City, the Philippine Azkals will start practicing on artificial turf, the playing surface that will be used in the second leg of their AFC Challenge Cup qualifying match with Mongolia on March 15.

The Azkals are set to train at the International School in Taguig this week before heading to Japan on March 6 for their final stretch of preparations at the J-Village in Fukushima, the training facility of the Japanese national team. Both facilities offer artificial surfaces.

“We want them to train on artificial turf because the game in Mongolia will be played on artificial turf,” said Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta.

The IS training and the subsequent Japan camp are expected to familiarize the Azkals with the artificial surface, which is said to offer a different bounce and spin than natural grass, especially when wet.

The Azkals will practice at IS until Friday. They will be encamped in Japan until March 12 and will fly straight to Ulan Bator for their match.

“The Japan training will also serve to acclimatize the team. Although it is colder in Mongolia, Japan will have 6 degrees so pwede na rin (it will do for acclimatization),” said Araneta.

Baguio, the coldest point in the country, was more for high-altitude training than acclimatization.

“We had them train in Baguio primarily to develop their stamina,” Araneta said.


http://www.philstar.com/SportsArticl...bCategoryId=69
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:48 AM   #33
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Beyond the Azkals fad...
I hope we have this developed even more...

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Old March 1st, 2011, 04:24 AM   #34
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Simon Greatwich back for Azkals-Mongolia match
Cedelf P. Tupas
First Posted 11:45:23 28/02/2011


Midfielder Simon Greatwich is expected to be back for the second leg of the Philippines’ AFC Challenge Cup qualifying series against Mongolia on March 15 in Ulan Bator.

The 22-year-old Filipino-British standout, who came in as a halftime substitute in the 2-nil first leg victory at the Panaad in Bacolod last Feb. 9, said yesterday that he may be available as early as a week before the showdown with the Mongolians.

Greatwich said he wants to join the team for training camp in the Japan Football Association facility, located just outside Tokyo.

“I’m still hoping I could join the camp,” said Greatwich, a varsity player of Hartwick College in New York, who made an impact on attack in the second half against Mongolia, nearly scoring on an overhead kick.

Greatwich’s availability comes as a boost for the Azkals, considering that his older brother, Chris, and defender Rob Gier will miss the match.

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge had earlier ruled himself out of the Mongolia game and may join the team if it progresses to the group qualifying tournament in Myanmar. Expected to start in his place is Eduard Sacapano.

The Azkals, who underwent high-altitude training in Baguio City last week, continue their preparation at the International School in Taguig, where an artificial pitch similar to the one in Ulan Bator are being used.

The team is expected to fly to Japan on March 7, where they will train for five days before flying to Ulan Bator.

Team manager Dan Palami said preparations are on track.

“I’m happy with our preparations,” said Palami. “The team has started to set higher standards for themselves.”


http://www.inquirer.net/sports/artic...lia-match.html
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Old March 1st, 2011, 05:46 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxxclip View Post
Know your Azkals: The double life of Aly Borromeo


Aly Borromeo is a man you wouldn’t want to mess with on the field. The moment he gets the ball, you have more or less zero chance of stealing it. It may not also be a great feeling being tackled by a 6’1" 190-pound bruiser.

Off the pitch, he’s an entirely different person – a shy, mellow, chocolate-loving Aly. He even has a hard time saying no to people, for goodness’ sake.

I know it’s difficult to imagine, especially if you’ve seen him with his game face on.


Don’t piss Aly off

His teammates agree that Aly is one of the most aggressive players among the Azkals. Simon Greatwich even says that he’s already gotten quite a few bruises from Aly.

“I always want the ball and take command. I get pissed if you don’t give it to me. I mean, I know my skills, and I’m asking for it because I know I can do something for the team. And I also don’t like seeing the opponent with the ball," he says.

It was worse when he was younger, what with his raging hormones.

“There was a rumble between Kaya and Air Force about ten years ago. I was still a kid back then and I got a few blows in. That was really funny," the 27-year-old laughs at the memory.

He’s more composed and calculated now. Aside from the red card he got in Maldives two years ago, Aly hasn’t been involved in any major scuffle. Usually, he’s even the mediator trying to calm things down.


“O, ikaw na captain"

Aly has suited up for the U-19 team, La Salle Greenhills, De La Salle University, Skyline College, Kaya FC and Global Smartmatic. He has played in all positions and was actually a goalkeeper until second year high school. Nothing’s prepared him though for his accidental “bump" to captaincy in 2004.

“It’s kind of a funny story. The captain back then, Bagets Piñero, and I both went up for a corner kick to head the ball out. I accidentally broke his nose. I broke my own teammate’s nose," he retells in disbelief.

“So he gave me the armband right there and said, ‘O, ikaw na captain.’"

Aly says he’s not a strict captain as long as you give your 110 percent. Errors are acceptable only for a first time.

“On the second time, I’m probably gonna shout at them. They’re gonna get scolded. I get pissed off with slight errors where they do things without thinking, and when they try to force things," he adds.



From cubbyholes to celebrity status

When I asked Aly about his worst experience with the Azkals, he honestly replied, “Where do I start?" They were named Azkals because they never had any support in the first place. Strays, literally.

“In previous tournaments, we would sleep in facilities that had no cushions and smelled like piss. One time, in Iloilo, we stayed in the middle of nowhere. It was really bad," he says.

Their fortune changed when they beat highly-favored Vietnam in the Suzuki Cup last year. The fame, the fans and the funds started pouring in.

“I’ve cried several times in games but this is different. On the 80th minute, the scoreboard said 2-0. I looked at Anton and we were both like, ‘Are you serious?’ After the game, I just hugged them all," he shares.

With their newfound success, the Azkals have been busy holding mall tours and endorsing different brands. The fan frenzy peaked in Bacolod.

“When we were in Bacolod, we had to use the backdoor to get out of the hotel. I literally had to sprint to get to the bus. We don’t even have time to be ourselves anymore. The fanaticism is crazy but it’s good for the sport. We’ve been waiting so long for this," Aly says.

A mellow Aly?

Aly says he’s very approachable and not aggressive at all when he’s not playing – the exact opposite of the number 11 we see on the field.

“I can’t even get mad at the help. And I have trouble saying no to people. That’s how bad it gets," he sighs (I’m surprised girls don’t take advantage of this “yes-man" attitude).

If he’s not busy playing football, this Filipino-American-Spanish is busy with his Play Station 3 or with the family business. Aside from those, chocolates and the gym are on top of his priority list.

“Honestly, if I have nothing to do, I’ll just be in the gym," he admits.
pano magiging shy and mellow si Aly eh according to a PFF friend, mayabang and maangas siya?

anyways, thanks for the people who continually write up stuff dito
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Old March 1st, 2011, 08:26 AM   #36
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Know your Azkals: Not just another Greatwich


If his surname wasn’t Greatwich, he probably wouldn’t be pressured to be a great footballer.

Twenty-two-year-old Simon Clive is the youngest of the Greatwich brothers. His elder siblings Chris and Phil, 27 and 24 respectively, are also football players.

Growing up in the coastal city of Brighton in southeast England, Simon has always been surrounded by the sport — what with the Premier League happening almost whole year round, and David Beckham living just a few hours away. It’s the perfect ground for breeding professional football players.

“Football is really famous [in England]. The people are fanatic. It’s a huge thing, much like basketball here in the Philippines," he says.

At an age kids have just gotten out of their diapers, Simon was already learning the basics of football. His first mentor was his dad, and his first football was, well, a tennis ball.

“We’d just bring tennis balls to school and try to play football with it. But it was just all for fun," he recalls.



He eventually got signed by professional club Brighton and Hove Albion FC when he was nine. At 14, he was invited to try out for England’s U-15 squad. Also competing for slots were players from big-shot clubs Manchester United and Arsenal, most of whom were older than him. Although he didn’t actually make it to the 16-man team, it did seal his ambition of becoming a professional footballer.


“Magkano sa Legaspi Towers sa Roxas Boulevard?"

Simon’s mother hails from Davao. She flew to London and worked as a cafeteria lady in Great Ormond Street Hospital. That’s where she met her husband, then a porter in the same institution. The irony though is that Simon’s never really been in touch with his Filipino side. And you can forget about speaking in Filipino. The only Tagalog sentence he knows by heart is “Magkano sa Legaspi Towers sa Roxas Boulevard?"

“My mom didn’t really teach us Tagalog, growing up. I can pick up the key words in a sentence, and I try to understand the meaning. She probably regrets it now because she never really thought we’d end up here in Manila," he says.

Although he’s only known England and New York where he currently studies, he didn’t hesitate to play for the Philippines. After all, his elder brother Chris has already taken the lead and suited up for the Azkals.

Not everyone though is happy with the influx of Fil-foreigners among the Azkals. Simon says this is a misinterpretation as the 30-man team isn’t dominated by "halfies." The core is still homegrown, and the handful who came from other countries are really outstanding players.

“Some of the Fil-foreigners play in international clubs. They’re really good and they are assets to the team. In five years, with a mix of imports and locals, we can beat top Asian countries. We almost beat Indonesia in the Suzuki Cup, and that’s just the beginning," he says.

Simon considers their match in Maldives as his most memorable game so far, with 20,000 fans flocking to the compact stadium.

The noise was so loud that we couldn’t hear each other. But when we scored a goal, we silenced the crowd," he recalls. “That’s only 20,000 people. In the Suzuki Cup, there were about 90,000 fans watching. I hope I can play in something like that soon."

Simon is suiting up for the AFC Challenge Cup against Mongolia this February. His stint in the Southeast Asian Games U-23 tournament is still in the air, though. The SEAG will be held in November, and by that time he would've already turned 23.

With all the popularity he’s enjoying now, he’s been offered TV commercials and photoshoots. However, his main focus is still the Azkals, and if showbiz gets in the way of football, he’s not buying it.

It may have started as simply following his brothers’ footsteps. But he has very well made his name known not just as another Greatwich, but as Simon Greatwich – full-fledged midfielder for the Philippine Azkals.

And to think it all started with a tennis ball.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 09:02 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by from_antipolo View Post
pano magiging shy and mellow si Aly eh according to a PFF friend, mayabang and maangas siya?

anyways, thanks for the people who continually write up stuff dito
Aly was a schoolmate and classmate of mine in LSGH. He may be intimidating. but he is friendly. Malaking tao kasi.

Bata pa lang kami, magaling at sobrang aggressive na talaga siya mag laro.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 02:19 AM   #38
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Fifa donates P21.7M for construction of new pitch
Cedelf P. Tupas
First Posted 02:13:29 02/03/2011


MANILA---The International Football Federation (Fifa) has approved a $500,000 (P21.72 million) grant for the construction of an artificial football pitch in Parañaque City.

Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta yesterday told the Inquirer that the Fifa gave the green light to the plan, which the international federation calls Goal Project 2, in a meeting last Monday.

Domeka Garamendi, the former PFF secretary general who is now development officer at Fifa, informed Araneta about the grant.

The 1.5-hectare lot for the proposed pitch was donated by charismatic religious leader Bro. Mike Velarde.

It will take six months to finish the project, according to Araneta, and the Fifa grant will only cover the construction of the pitch.

Dan Palami, the manager for the national football team who was also instrumental in securing the help of Velarde, said they are eyeing a joint venture with a private firm to fund the construction of a grandstand.

Palami acknowledged that the lack of a training pitch has been one of the problems the Azkals have faced over the years.

“At least, we will have a home within the year,” said Palami, who also thanked sponsors of the Azkals’ recent training camp in Baguio City, including the Baguio Country Club.

The Azkals are preparing for the second leg of the AFC Challenge Cup qualifying series against Mongolia in Ulan Bator on March 15. The Azkals won the first leg, 2-nil.

“It’s definitely a boost for Philippine football,” Araneta said of the project. “Having our own pitch will go a long way in our effort to develop the sport.”


http://www.inquirer.net/sports/artic...new-pitch.html
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 05:58 AM   #39
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The Azkals' Ray Jonsson on life in a northern country, Sigur Ros & that darned volcano

http://bleachersbrew.blogspot.com/20...-northern.html

When I first met Ray Jonsson, I couldn’t believe how he couldn’t speak Tagalog but speak Visayan fluently. Haha. That was hilarious. And he would oft sit with the military players of the national team who were all from that region. From Vietnam, Manila, Indonesia, and Bacolod, we would always chat not just about football but music, life in Iceland, and traveling.

Here is one excerpt of an interview with Ray Jonsson.

Rick: Jeez, man. I thought you’d be playing hockey given how cold it is.

Ray: Haha No. No. Football is the most popular sport in Iceland although believe it or not, handball is the main sport. Do you know that Iceland is one of five best handball teams in the world? Hockey’s is getting more and more popular but it’s still far from the popularity of football.

Rick: Okay. Now that’s clear and you have no plans on being Iceland’s version of Alex Ovechkin, how about that UEFA experience?

Ray: I played in Azerbaijan, Switzerland and Austria. Total 6 games and I scored one goal. I scored from a free kick that I took 40-45 meters away from the goal and the ball went to the top corner. I still have the copy of it somewhere. I need to show you some day. It was against Karten FC of Austria. The game in Switzerland was the opening game of the new stadium in Basel. Then the game after us was between Borussia Dortmund and Monaco.

Rick: So you’re used to big crowds? Do football matches in Iceland draw a lot of people? Or was it in My Dinh and the Bung Karno where you experienced playing in front of a massive crowd?

Ray: The crowed in Iceland are not so many. My team plays in front of a crowd of around 1,200 people. Sometimes when we play against the bigger teams then there are around 2,000-2,500 people. When Iceland national team plays there are around 8-12,000 people.

So yes, clearly the biggest crowd that I’ve seen is in Indonesia. That was magnificent.

Rick: Okay, so it’s football. How do you – pardon the term here – chill out away from the game?

Ray: Hahaha. When I’m not playing I work a lot. But if I’m not working I usually spend my time with my family. During the summer time, we try to go camping or after the football season in the fall, we try maybe sometimes go to some hot country to relax. Like Spain, Portugal or the Philippines.


Rick: Speaking of vacations and life, did – damn these names and how to pronounce them – what’s that darned volcano’s name? Eyjafjallajökull there ya go. Did that… volcano, yeah, volcano disrupt your life in Iceland? (the photo above is from Ray's bro)

Ray: No, it did not disrupt my life. Far from it. It was not as frightening as the news abroad was reporting. The volcano is in the middle of Iceland where only few farmers live so it did not really affect the people except for the airplanes.

I´m gonna send you some picture that my younger brother took when it was almost over. People could not go there when the eruptions started so by the time my brother took it, it was already safe.

Rick: I’m going on a limb here since we’re on the topic of unpronounceable names and words. You like --- tada – Sigur Rós?

Ray: I lent (Azkals reserve keeper Toffer) Camcam my Sigur Rós albums. I listen to any music but if I put on some music it´s 90% alternative rock. I love Kings of Leon, Muse, Nirvana, Oasis and an Icelandic band called Dikta (Cammy also has the album). Any album with this band then I´m happy. And of course Sigur Rós.


Sigur Ros -- I speak Hopelandish
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:34 AM   #40
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Why? where do you want it then? I think its appropriate that its in Samahan like the other sports threads.
APPROPRIATE? is this some kind of exclusive club only thread? sorry man im not from ayala alabang! so dont count me in!

isnt it more nice if other people too can see what you football fans are talking about here? maybe they might join into the discussions too.

football is for everyone.. put this thread in the open where people either logged in or not can see posts here.
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