Tuesday, December 23, 2003


Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/)
Tuesday, December 23, 2003 issue
by GLENN C. MICHELENA, Sun.Star Correspondent

WITH the Visayas cast to the national finals settled earlier in the tournament, two ousted teams, Negros Oriental and Iloilo, played a spirited game worthy of being the curtain closer of the 2003 Philippine Football Federation (PFF) National Men’s Championship–Visayas Regional Finals at the Barotac Nuevo field in Iloilo.

Negros Oriental defeated Iloilo, 4-2, in the shootout overtime period and closed its uneventful journey of the competitions with a win.

While the Bacolod squad crushed the depleted Cebu FA-Hapee squad, 4-0, in the day’s other non-bearing match.

Despite the debacle, Cebu is still on a positive mode. The Cebu squad and Negros Occidental made the national finals by virtue of their top-two finish.

With only 11 players showing up for the game, Cebu’s problems compounded after one of its players got disqualified with a red card, leaving Cebu with only 10 players to work with most of the game.

“We are happy with the team’s performance,” said Cebu Team official Maxi Maximo. “Our goal was to improve on the team’s performance and qualify for the national finals and we accomplished both.”

The tournament, which ended without giving out awards and recognitions, was staged as the qualifying ground for the national finals.

Monday, December 22, 2003


Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/)
Monday, December 22, 2003 issue
by Patrick Costelo

CEBU Football Association (CFA)-Hapee had an easy walk in the park to the National Finals after thumping Negros Oriental, 5-0, but the fate of top striker Ronald Loayon remains unsure.

The 23-year-old Loayon, Cebu’s top scorer with four goals so far, revealed yesterday he might not be able to return to Cebu and play for the National Championships in March if he is advised to report for training at the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

Loayon of the University of San Jose-Recoletos earlier passed PAF’s entrance exam and was not recruited by PAF’s men’s football team, as earlier reported. He will leave for Manila for a medical exam. Playing coach Glen Ramos, however, is not worried of Loayon’s departure as the team is equipped with equally talented strikers, he said yesterday.

CFA-Hapee barged into the regional finals with a superior elimination-round record of two wins and a draw in the four-team tournament. The finalists qualify to the National Finals next year.

In another development, the CFA is set to bid for the hosting of the National Finals in March, disclosed CFA president Jonathan Maximo yesterday.

CFA-Hapee’s game-long domination blew off with a Warlo Sabella goal in the 23rd minute followed by Loayon’s slammer in the 33rd. Roland Verdida closed the first half with authority as he squeaked one in at the 44th to give Cebu a 3-0 edge at halftime.

Just four minutes into the second half, Loayon scored his fourth elimination-round goal in the 49th as Negros Oriental remained scoreless.

Ramos gave CFA-Hapee an upbeat endgame as he scored in the 89th.

Cebu, will take on defending national champion Negros Occidental, the team it drew in the elimination, in today’s finals at 1:30 p.m. and will take the 6 p.m. ship back to Cebu.

Host Iloilo, which finished No.3, will play bottom team and winless Negros Oriental for third place in the opening match at 9 a.m.

Cebu and Negros Occidental will meet North/South Luzon winner PAF, which represents the National Capital Region Football Association (NCRFA), and runner-up Laguna Football Association (LFA), along with the champions from Southeast Luzon; West, North and Central Mindanao. PCC

Sunday, December 21, 2003


Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/)
Sunday, December 21, 2003 issue
by Patrick C. Costelo

CEBU Football Association (CFA)-Hapee may have moved a win away from the National Championship but it is on the verge of losing its top striker Ronald Loayon.

Loayon, the team’s top scorer in the tournament, who led Cebu to a win over traditional powerhouse Iloilo Wednesday and to a 1-1 draw against defending national champion Negros Occidental in the ongoing 2003 Philippine National Men’s Championship-Visayas Regional Finals in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, was reportedly recruited to suit up with the Philippine Air Force.

Reports say the striker was asked to report for a medical exam yesterday as the PAF, which ruled the North/South Luzon Regional Finals, wants him in the team as early as possible.

If things go as planned, Loayon may play for PAF in the National Finals.

Jonathan Maximo, CFA president, on the other hand, appealed to the PAF yesterday not to take Loayon until the tournament finishes.

The University of San Jose-Recoletos’ Loayon has no contract with CFA-Hapee, which he joined after a three-month tryout. On the other hand, he may play for the PAF as an enlistee if he decides to leave Cebu.

The Glen Ramos-coached CFA-Hapee will play Negros Oriental at 3 p.m. today in its last elimination game of the four-team competition, which lasts until tomorrow.

Negros Oriental earlier lost to Iloilo, which Cebu ripped, 2-0, on its first assignment.

Friday, December 19, 2003


Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/)
Friday, December 19, 2003 issue
by Patrick C. Costelo

CEBU Football Association (CFA)-Hapee pulled snatched sweet victory right in front of the Barotac Nuevo home crowd when it beat host team and powerhouse Iloilo, 2-1, Wednesday in the 2003 Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Men’s Football Championship – Visayas Regional Finals.

In the opening game, defending champion Negros Occidental handed Negros Oriental a 4-3 rout as it drew first blood in the tough four-team field, which pools the best from all over the Visayas.

“We had our eyes set on Iloilo the fact that it’s a traditional football power and they had the home crowd,” said Jonathan Maximo, CFA president.

“But with Wednesday’s result, I can just imagine how tough our team is with its never say die attitude. We had to come from behind and we pulled it off right in front of their faces.”

Host Iloilo slammed in the first goal with a stunner in the eighth minute when Jorge Adventura scored on Cebu goalkeeper Ace Mangohid with a high looper from 40 yards.

However, CFA-Hapee turned on the heat defensively to control the rest of the first half, despite remaining scoreless.

The Glen Ramos-coached CFA-Hapee got its break six minutes after the second half kick off as Ronald Loayon of the University of San Jose-Recoletos clinched an equalizer at the 51st.

The almost spotless defense of CFA-Hapee stalled the potent home team offense and eventually broke away with a goal in the 75th courtesy of Exas’ Elimar Baunsit.

No games were played yesterday, which was rest day. Games resume today with Cebu facing Negros Occidental at 3 p.m. while Negros Oriental takes on Iloilo in the opening match up at 1 p.m.

Meantime, Negros Occidental similarly held on from a 2-0 deficit at halftime to score a come-from-behind win over Negros Oreintal.

As Negros Oriental ran out of gas in the final 45 minutes, Occidental inched closer scoring two goals in the half to level the game.

Things got worse for Oriental in the homestretch when it committed a foul inside the penalty box giving Occidental the chance to win the game via penalty.

The top two teams in the Visayas finals will get slots to the National Championship next year against the rulers of the North/South Luzon Finals, Southeast Luzon Finals, West, North and Central Mindanao Finals.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003


Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/)
Wednesday, December 17, 2003 issue
by Patrick C. Costelo

THE Cebu Football Association (CFA)-Hapee Men’s Football Team sets outs to war against one of the most squads when its faces host Iloilo today when the 2003 Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Narional Men’s Championship –Visayas Regional Finals today in Barotac Nuevo.

Hostilities commence at 1 p.m. with Negros Oriental faces defending champion Negros Ocidental in the opening game while Cebu versus Iloilo follows at 3 p.m.

The Glen Ramos-coached Cebu selection will have a one-day rest tomorrow before it faces Negros another powerhouse team in Negros Occidental on Friday at 3 p.m. following the Negros Oriental-Iloilo match up.

The five-day clash between four teams will pit the top two teams in the championship match after the elimination while the bottom two settle for the third place battle in the finals.

The top two squads automatically qualify to the National Championship early next year together with the top teams from North/South Luzon, Southeast Luzon, West Mindanao, North Mindanao, and Central Mindanao.

Backed by Hapee and Tran-Asia, the team is made up of goalkeepers Ace Mngohid and Oscar Lemence, midfielders NiƱo Zapanta and Harold Buot, forwards Elemar Baunsit and Ronald Loayon.

The team pooled through a three-month selection by the CFA, include Vincent Ramos, Heintje Ruiz, Rene Mendoza, Robert Nicart, Oliver Colina, Wearlso Zabella, Rolando Verdida, Voltaire Montebon, Gregorio Guiwan, and John Michael Abellana.

Monday, December 08, 2003


Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/)
Monday, December 08, 2003 issue
by Patrick C. Costelo, Staff Reporter

DBTI goes to national finalsHOST team Don Bosco Technology Center got back with a vengeful but untimely 3-0 win over Negros Oriental National High School yesterday at the University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus.

But it was immaterial as Cebu failed to qualify to the National Finals. Negros Occidental giant Don Bosco Technical Institute emerged the champion by goal difference after stunning DBTC last Friday, 2-0, and drawing with Negros Oriental High on Saturday, 1-1.

For the first time in two consecutive years it has hosted the Coke Go-For-Goal National Football Championship-Visayas Regional Finals, Cebu lost the championship.

DBTI could have wrested the National Finals ticket earlier had it beaten Negros Oriental, but the draw made matters tentative as the former had to wait for the result of yesterday’s match.

Negros Oriental, meantime, could have won the regional title had it defeated DBTC by three points. A penalty shootout could even have materialized between both Negros teams had Negros Oriental won against Cebu by two points.

But an entirely different DBTC squad set out yesterday giving the visitors the intensity of a defending regional champion as Kyle Soriano slammed a goal in the 25th minute to end the half at 1-0.

The Glen Ramos-coached DBTC scored its last two goals in the last 10 minutes of play after its defense held on, unlike the team that ran out of gas in the second half against DBTI in the opening day after trailing 0-2 at halftime.

Soriano scored goal No.2 in the 80th while Cebu leg MVP candidate Patrick Caricari drained the third goal in the 85th to thump the visitors and save face with the runner-up trophy.

DBTI’s Jonard Benetic, who scored both goals in the win against Cebu, bagged the MVP award while his teammate Von Joseph Bayquin took home the Best Goalkeeper honors.

DBTI took the third individual award as Michael Orbino nabbed the Best Midfielder medal.

Cebu, on the other and, took the remaining awards with John Tirol and Soriano taking the Best Striker and Best Defender medals, respectively.

Philippine Football Federation’s Jojo Rodriguez, director of competition and Jimmy Somogod, Referee Committee head, CFA’s Jonathan “Maxi” Maximo, Neil Montesclaros and Merk Bretherton, graced the closing rites, which saw Negros Oriental take the Chris Monfort Fair Play trophy after not logging a single caution. PCC

Monday, November 10, 2003


Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/)
Monday, November 10, 2003 issue
by Patrick C. Costelo, Correspondent

SAVVY playing coach Glen Ramos showed his wards and his foes the heart of a champion when he took UC-Hapee to its third championship in four years with a last-minute slammer yesterday against Crazy Horse in the electrifying finals of the 7th Aboitiz Cup football Men’s division at the Cebu City Sports Center.

Meanwhile, another nail-biting match-up saw University of San Carlos nab third place from newcomer Philippine Air Force (PAF), 4-3, via penalty shootout.

Hapee, which came off a four-game win streak since the eliminations, had a tough time against the agile defense of its foreigner-laden rivals.

After a scoreless first half, the game soon turned intensely physical, which led to some verbal tiffs at the end of the match.

Both sides failed to convert on a few attempts but the seasoned UC-Hapee slowly took control of the final 45 minutes.

UC-Hapee which almost limited Crazy Horse to defense but after a few close shots, still remained scoreless as Crazy Horse had their center forwards marked.

With an extension looming, UC had its last- chance to execute its game plan, taking the last line of defenders mid-court.

Center-forward Redrick Viliran, one of Hapee’s four imports from Dumaguete, who earlier led the team in the semis over PAF, had the ball mid-court off a quick pass. Two defenders closed in on Viliran but Ramos, who manned the midfield was already ahead to receive the pass, and with one touch evaded the last defender and pulled the trigger for the win.

“We were finally able to complete our plan late in the game. We knew we had the chance when we gained more possessions in the second half,” said the 36-year-old Ramos, who was once the youngest starter in the RP Team at 17 back in 1984.

“I’d like to thank Hapee for its continuous support, UC, and our players from Dumaguete, Redrick, Marcos, Oliver and Greg.”

Sunday, November 09, 2003


Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/)
Sunday, November 09, 2003 issue
by Patrick C. Costelo, Staff Writer

A RE-ENERGIZED University of Cebu-Hapee takes its second shot at the crown in two years today when it faces newcomer Crazy Horse in the championship match of the 7th Aboitiz Cup football Men’s division at the Cebu City Sports Center at 3 p.m.

In the battle for third, perennial semifinalist University of San Carlos and another newcomer, Philippine Air Force, collide at 1 p.m.

UC-Hapee, mentored by playing coach and former RP team booter Glen Ramos, has been raring to take the title after losing to the Kim Relucio-led University of San Jose-Recoletos last year.

After losing its first outing, UC swept the remainder of its games all the way to ripping PAF in the semifinals two weeks ago, 6-1. Striker Redrick Viliran broke the silence with a goal in the 19th and finished with two goals after slamming in a direct goal in the 40th.

Rookie Marco Larrazabal, on the other hand, continued to deliver after similarly finishing with two goals in that semis match-up.

UC-Hapee, like Crazy Horse, is also a new team filled with players straight out of high school including former M. Lhuillier Sports Development Foundation stalwarts Josephat Sacil, Carlos Bolo, Jack Reston and Arnie Pasinabo. The team, however, has had more time to jell compared to Crazy Horse.

But that may matter little against the talent-laden Crazy Horse made up mostly of young foreigners, who have gone through enormous odds to reap their championship slot in their first year in the league organized by the Cebu Football Association.

Saturday, November 01, 2003


Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/)
Saturday, November 01, 2003 issue
by Rommel C. Manlosa, Staff Writer

DON Bosco Missionary Seminary pulled off a surprise 1-0 win win over the highly touted University of the Visayas-Compostela in the 20th Coke-Go-for-Goal Under-16 tournament held at the University of San Carlos Technological Center pitch in Talamban.

While the eight-player University of San Carlos-Boys School was able to offset its lack of manpower to draw with Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion-Mandaue, 1-1, in the other game last Sunday.

Sweeper Hans Calzada caught the defense of the Bro. Rosmon Valenciano-mentored UV 11 as he found the back of the net just eight minutes after the starting whistle. The Bosconians then played excellent defense to frustrate the offense of the Visayanians until the final minute of the game.

The Bosconians are now poised to take away the semifinal seat from UV as they tied their prey at second place with a 1-1 win-loss record each.

It was an unfortunate conclusion for UV-Compostela, which earlier defeated Cebu City National Science High School, 3-1.

Meanwhile, the eight-player USC-BS squad of coach Orlando Salera opened the game with a goal from Lubianan on the third minute and were poised to take the victory away from CIC-Mandaue, which struggled to break the defense of the Carolinians before Ceniza found the back of the neat on the 90th minute, just a shade before the final whistle.

It was a tough defensive stance displayed by USC-BS, which missed the services of three players, going toe-to-toe with CIC-M before succumbing to a draw in the final minute of the game.

USC-BS lags at third place in Group A and could take away the second spot if it wins over the inexperienced USJ-R squad.

Cebu elimination champions Don Bosco Technical Center is favored to get another trip to the Visayas finals in December following a 9-0 victory over USJ-R in a Group A match.

Sunday, October 05, 2003


Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/)
Sunday, October 05, 2003 issue
by Paul J. Taneo, Columnist - Free for all

The pure joy in the faces of children is something money can't buy. Perhaps a football worth less than P100 can do the job.

Having not witnessed such unmitigated pleasure since watching the expressions of a group kids in a clown-magician garden show during a birthday party or the visionaries of Fatima taking communion from an invisible hand, it is nothing short of gratifying. Like giving a poor little girl the first doll she had ever owned. The happiness is true and untainted. A brook in the middle of forest hundreds of kilometers from civilization.

Thursday afternoon near sunset, grade-school teacher Mr. Abellar and I led a group of 14 Grade 1 students into a field that can be technically called idle if not for a cow tethered acting like a lawn mower needing no petrol. The clouds having dumped rain on the field a day ago, it was wet in a few furrows on the side of the area designated as the playing field.

With five junior-sized footballs donated by the CFA in line with its Kasibulan 6-12 outreach program, we quickly taught the kids the rudiments of the game: "This is a football. Foot on ball, that's how you control it. Avoid hitting it with your hands. That's a foul…Now let's play a game."

It was a swift and rudimentary introduction realizing children's extreme need to play. And there were games, three on three. No goalies. Four balls as goalposts and the fifth as the game ball.

Besides continually reminding the kids not to touch the ball with their hands and that they were supposed to shoot on the other side and not on their own, it was a lot of fun watching them go after the ball in band unmindful of teammates and opponents. A small coterie of neighborhood kids and adults acted as the cheering squad for no team in particular.

Avoiding puddles, cow dung and dog shit, the players still in their school uniforms, fell on their bottoms to the great delight of everyone thrilled by the unintended pratfall.

The first team to make three goals won. One game was so even it was stuck at 2-all for like forever we had to end it so the others kids with mouth watering eager to play next could have their turn and before the sun hid behind the large warehouse to the west.

With little lungs pumping behind their chests and sweat pouring down their faces, it was time to end the fun. The kids were asked to fall in line and shake hands with their playmates. About half made scissor, paper and stone mimicking the captain balls at the start of the games.

Two of the bigger boys showed promise. One whom I instantly christened Ronaldo for his speed and surprising savvy had an inspiring zeal in his eyes and quickness in his feet. He scored at least two thirds of all the goals his team made. His classmate said his real name is Leonilo Estacion. A boy from a broken home who now lives with his siblings in their aunt's place.

Football has given countless athletes scholarships and better lives. Football has made superior athletes like the real Ronaldo, Pele and Beckenbauer multi-millionaires. That's looking too far ahead. These barangay schoolchildren know Hontiveros, Limpot and Adducul much more easily.

They have fun watching these basketball stars play and have fun playing basketball. Football is new to them and now they know it's just as fun. And they don't even have to be as tall their PBA heroes to be as good.

I'm not sure how eager they are for next Thursday to be able to play again. I only know I can't wait.