Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Courtesy of The Freeman Newspaper (
Wednesday, January 16, 2008 issue
by Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, Staff Writer
Manny Villaruel, Sports Editor

Jonathan Maximo will direct the football competition in the upcoming Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA)-VII meet in Cebu City from February 8-10.

“PRISAA-Cebu has asked me to manage the regional football tournament and I am willing to assist the organization. I want to push football to the next level. This is our product; let’s hype it,” Maximo said after his appointment.

Maximo had served with distinction in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) as football director last year.

With Maximo on the helm, the local football community gets the chance to witness topnotch competition during the PRISAA, with the participation of the best collegiate teams from Negros Oriental, Dumaguete, Bohol and Tagbilaran.

The regional winners will represent Region VII in the National PRISAA set from April 7-13 in Zamboanga City. They will play against traditional powerhouse Western Visayas, NCR and Davao. This brings football back to limelight, after relegating in the regional level for many years.

Maximo appreciated the leaders of PRISAA for taking the initiative of bringing regional football here in Cebu, as well as the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for its support for this inter-school competition.

“This shows that the game is becoming popular as more schools are forming their own football teams, thus the new demand to raise the game to the national level,” Maximo added.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 issue
by Marian C. Baring, Staff Reporter

THE Cebu Football Association wants to make sure everything will be in place before it finally holds its long-delayed elections, which will hopefully happen at the end of the month.

Former president Jonathan Maximo, who resigned from his post last Dec. 31, said they are currently in the process of sending out invitations to different clubs and teams.

“We wanted to call on the teams and clubs so that we can explain to them the structure that we need to put up,” Maximo said.

Teams and clubs will be divided into districts, where they will then choose their representatives, something Maximo believes, is something the football association (FA) should initiate.

The crucial part, according to Maximo, is to define the club from a team, group them into districts and for each district to elect their own sets of officers.

“We need to organize them so that we can move forward,” Maximo said.

Maximo added that once these representatives are pinpointed, these people will make up the management committee. They will be the ones who will carry the voice of their district and will have the voting power.

“If each district is represented, then whenever there are meetings, plans and other decision-makings of the FA, the districts will have a voice. He will be the one to disseminate the information to his own district,” Maximo said.

Maximo said they do not want to hurry the elections because what is important is for the clubs to understand the structure the current board wants to follow.

Once the management committee will be formed, then the election will take place. Nine new members of the board of directors will be elected and among them, they will decide who will sit as officers.

Maximo, who had announced he was not seeking for reelection, said that he had suggested a new scheme for the term of the officers.

“Based on experience, a four-year term is too long. I proposed it to be shortened to two years. After all, officers can still seek for reelection after their term expires,” Maximo said. (MCB)

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Courtesy of SUN STAR DAILY Newspaper (
January 12, 2008 Saturday issue
By Noel Villaflor, Columnist - Footnote
Mike Limpag, Sports Editor

What in the world was Tom Hanks doing in the sports segment of a cable news channel?

A scarf Hanks was wearing around his neck had caught the eye of a reporter, who promptly asked the actor what’s with the rug. (For a moment there, I thought Hanks was going to hang himself for making that forgettable religious conspiracy movie.)

It turned out the American actor is a big fan of an English football team.

Emblazoned on the scarf were the huge letters “Aston Villa Football Club” and its logo. What better place to wear the scarf than in London at the premier of his new movie Charlie Wilson’s War two nights ago.

Asked why he was rooting for the club, Hanks gurgled: “Well I know a good football match when I see one. Years ago I was watching on TV a pretty good game with Aston Villa and I thought ‘I like that name and those colors.’ Anybody can root for Chelsea for gods’ sake!”

Likeable colors. Well said, Forest.

Sadly for Hanks though, Villa isn’t doing much good football these days, with many of its key players suffering from technical skill problems especially during big matches.

The club, seventh in the English Premier League, could find itself hovering in the middle of the table later in the season. A bad prospect for Villa fans, but at least they have the American actor’s support.

Good thing that Hanks mentioned Chelsea because the club from London - some 160 kilometers from Villa’s Birmingham — aren’t playing scintillating football either. The former champions are languishing at third place in the domestic league, six points behind leaders Arsenal.

To make matters worse, the London club is facing some serious problems with manpower. Apart from a host of injuries to its key players, Chelsea are set to lose Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Mikel Jon Obi and Michael Essien to the African Cup of Nations from Jan. 20 to Feb. 10.

The club is so desperate it rushed to sign Nikolas Anelka for 15 million pounds from Bolton Wanderers in a deal both parties confirmed yesterday.

The Blues seem to be a weakening force. And with the swashbuckling Jose Mourinho out of the picture, the team has generated less interest over the past few months. Avram Grant, you see, isn’t much of a charismatic character.

But Chelsea’s owner Roman Abra-hmovic doesn’t mind if his new club manager looks like Uncle Fester of the Adam’s Family, so long as he snags the prize the Russian billionaire craves the most: the UEFA Champions League title.

It’s no secret that Mourinho’s failure to win the title was a big factor in the falling out between the Portuguese manager and his Russian boss. Sure, “The Special One” won for the club back-to-back domestic titles, but European glory lies elsewhere. Only by wining the Champions League can Chelsea validate its claim as one of the world’s truly big clubs.

And then there’s the big bucks. What businessman would not want to get his hands on some 100 million euros in prize money, gate receipts, sponsorships and TV earnings for the winner of the Champions League? Roman knows what he wants. This time Grant can get it for him, perhaps. But how?

Back in England, the Israeli manager can opt to end the domestic season in the top four, enough to qualify for the next Champion’s League season, so as not to strain his team as it regroups, and focus his resources in getting to the finals in Russia. Liverpool is fairly good at this strategy. It wouldn’t hurt Chelsea to follow the same path.

Imagine the Champion’s League finals: a sea of blue in Abrahmovich’s Moscow. And all of England united, just this once, for the otherwise much reviled Blues. Grant can go for glory. Hanks can keep his maroon scarf.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Courtesy of SUN STAR DAILY Newspaper (
January 5, 2008 Saturday issue
By Noel Villaflor, Columnist - Footnote
Mike Limpag, Sports Editor

ON the last day of 2007, Jonathan “Maxi” Maximo officially stepped down as Cebu Football Association (CebuFA) president, after four years at the helm.

“I am not running for president anymore,” his text message read. He had told me of this plan as early two years ago when I bumped into him at the Asean Football Federation Championship Qualifiers in Bacolod.

Maxi, a soft-spoken and affable gentleman, sounded relieved when I called him up yesterday. Four years of running this province-wide organization must be an ordeal. (In that period, he’s had his fair share of fulfillment, but that merits another column.)

You see, the CebuFA presidency is a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” post. Every Cebuano football pundit will tell you how it should be run, but none of them wants to do it. Just read the online forums.

So who’s now standing in Maxi’s shoes? No one. Elections are tentatively set on the third week of January yet after the Sinulog frenzy, while the CebuFA Board will run official matters, Maxi said.

In the last few years, Cebu football has evolved, at least in terms of participation among the clubs, players and their fanatical kin. There is now a vibrant football community here, and it continues to grow.

How much of this growth we can attribute to the CebuFA’s efforts, no one’s sure. But if there is to be continuity in CebuFA’s projects and vision, then the Board must fix its lineup right away. Another postponement, and that’s an extra time too many. Exhausting, unexciting.

Besides, only after the elections can Maxi really look forward to doing what he loves best, like nurturing that wonderful football club of his, PaBol FC. Without the headaches, without the pundits snapping at his heels.

* * *

There’s a reason why the politics of football are seldom on the papers: the really good stuff is on the field, the way it should be.

And I promise, dear accidental reader (Happy New Year, by the way), I shall write less of football politics and more of goals, kicks and tackles.

For starters, here’s the good news: the first football tournament of the year will kick off today at the Don Bosco football grounds in Labangon, Cebu City.

It’s an 11-a-side tournament held on weekends. (My team, the fledgling UP Alumni FC, is bracketed with powerhouses UC, Inter Lapulapu, USP Alumni and United FC. I’ll be watching from the sidelines. To take notes.)

And then there’s the Thirsty Cup on Feb. 15, 16 and 17 at the Cebu City Sports Center. To many Cebuano football fans, this is the festival that started it all.

Expect this year’s installment to be as competitive as those in the previous years. Gone are the days when 10-0 routs ruled the fields.

At least the Davids of Cebu football have a 20-minute chance against the Goliaths. Then again, David slew Goliath, didn’t he?

Friday, January 04, 2008


Courtesy of THE FREEMAN Newspaper ( 4, 2008 Friday issue
By Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, Staff Reporter
Manny Villaruel, Sports Editor

For the first time, local football received international attention.

The ASEAN Football Federation official website bannered the final action in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Incorporated (CESAFI) between USJ-R and the University of San Carlos.

The site,, ran the story “USJ-R Regain Cebu Schools Cup” and reported how USJ-R finally beat archrival USC 2-0 in the final match.

The story went to relate how USJ-R tried in the last two years to regain the title, only to be stopped cold by USC every time. Furthermore, the story described how USJ-R’s Robert Mamac and Anselmo Pulmones netted the winning goals.

The news item came out with an action picture of a USJ-R player vying for the ball during the final match.

The story was one of the only two stories about the Philippines featured in the site for 2007; the other was about the candidacy of former Filipino international player Mariano Araneta, Jr. for the presidency of the Philippine Football Federation.

“Yes, it is the first time in ASEAN football site. We are happy that Cebu football is recognized in international level,” said Jonathan Maximo, president of the Cebu Football Association and the tournament manager of CESAFI Football tournament.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Sanctioned by CebuFA, Inc.
November 17 to December 22, 2007
USC-TC Field, Talamban, Cebu City

TOP GOALSCORERSas of December 22, 2007 5:00PM

3 GoalsJunard Aguilar (UV), Ryan Lim (USC), Robert Mamac (USJ-R), Adrianne Mejaran (USJ-R)

2 GoalsMarvin Abelgas (USJ-R), Mark Gallardo (USPF), Rodney Gandionco (UC), Jessie Melgo (UC), Deck Pacana (USPF), Freddie Rica (UV), Kyle Soriano (USC)

1 GoalFrederick Alazas (UV), Pomposo Atillo (USC), Hubert Buot (USC), John Casayan (USPF), Paul dela Victoria (USJ-R), Michael Diano (USPF), Michael Nierra (USPF), Anselmo Pulmones (USJ-R), Ariel Repeso (UC), Joseph Rodriguez (USPF), Josaphat Sacil (UV), Patrick Uno (USC)

Total: 38 Goals
14 Matches
2.7 goals per match

Maxi Maximo
Tournament Managers
CESAFI Football 2007

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Courtesy of SUN STAR DAILY Newspaper (
December 29, 2007 Saturday issue
By Noel Villaflor, Columnist - Footnote
Mike Limpag, Sports Editor

MULTITUDES the world over speak of football as though it were a religion. But when the top sport’s deity descended on our shores early this month with $400,000 manna for Philippine football, hardly anyone sang a song of praise.

Instead, the windfall was met with great caution.

Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, president of the International Football Federation or Fifa, was just as wary. He and the rest of the football gods have been witness to Philippine football’s downward spiral over the last century.

Blatter yearns for Philippine football’s golden years. But every time the sport is poised to take a big stride, it trips on its own, face down, and humiliates itself before the international football community.

As of this writing, the Men’s National Team is stuck at 179 out of 201 spots in the Fifa rankings. And why it failed to send a men’s team to the Southeast Asian Games after a decent performance at the start of the year is beyond me.

“Help yourself and heaven will help you,” Blatter admonished the believers, doers and the heathen during the centennial celebration of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) in Manila last Dec. 7.

Let’s hope everybody paid attention because when a top sports official starts calling out to heaven, you know we’re in deep excrement. That means the new set of PFF officers have a lot in their hands.

In a country obsessed with basketball and Judy Ann’s constant mutation, few would bother to keep an eye on the PFF. Yet Fifa’s $250,000 yearly subsidy, aside from the $400,000 top-up aid, is a lot of money, and how that trickles down to the grass roots is a burning question.

Will other areas such as Cebu even get loose change? One thing for certain is that the Cebu football community helps itself. The numerous tourneys and festivals for the past three years, many of which are independently funded, is testament to that.

The coming year will be no less vibrant in Cebu. But in the capital where the crucial decisions are made, 2008 can be a make-or-break year for Philippine football. Let’s just hope that the PFF officials share Blatter’s vision and lamentation. To them, enlightenment, please.

* * * You must be wondering, dear accidental reader, why this column suddenly popped up on this page. The truth is, this column is six months overdue, and I now have a vague idea how it feels to give birth. It is excruciating to undergo labor when you’re pregnant with ideas and there’s not much pushing, huffing and puffing. Call this writing’s equivalent of a caesarian section. You get the drift.

But I am just a taker of notes of the sport I love best (I dig boxing but, football, I can play). Lately though, I have found my weekends devoid of football games. Blame this on my feeble joints.

So what must one do when the spirit is willing but the body, stubborn? Write.

Last I heard, nobody tears ligaments typing. Besides, the sport can do with one less lout off the field. But I suffer from a niggling urge.

The Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, a frustrated footballer himself, couldn’t have said it any better: “By writing, I was going to do with my hands what I never could accomplish with my feet: irredeemable klutz, disgrace of the playing fields, I had no choice but to ask of words what the ball I so desired denied me.”

So embrace me, dear muse of sports writing.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


The 2007 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation (CESAFI) College Football Tournament has been featured in Asean Football:

Maxi Maximo
Tournament Managers
CESAFI Football 2007


Courtesy of THE FREEMAN Newspaper ( 23, 2007 Sunday Issue
By Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, Staff Reporter
Manny Villaruel, Sports Editor

The University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Spiking Jaguars exacted vengeance at the University of San Carlos (USC) Golden Booters, dethroning the Carolinians via a 2-0 whitewash to emerge as the new football champion of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) yesterday at the USC-TC field in Talamban.

It was no less a sweet redemption for USJ-R, which lost in the final last year to the same rivals.

USC may have played with cooler heads, but USJ-R proved to be the hungrier and more determined squad.

Both squads were scoreless in the first half. As the game progressed, tension flared up with six players from USJ-R being slapped with a yellow card each as warning for unsportsmanlike behavior. They are Joven Torres, Paul dela Victoria, Arlon Sabal, Edward Lachica and Eduardo Buglasa.

Inspite of that, USJ-R coach Joselito Bono was able to pacify his players and let them focus in the game and just do whatever they can.

And as good soldiers, Robert Mamac and Alselmo Palmones stepped up the gas and sink a goal each in a span of seven minutes. Mamac found the back of the net at the 72nd. Less than 10 minutes later, Palmares delivered another goal for USJ-R.

Thus, USJ-R regained its throne after two years of waiting. USJ-R was the king of CESAFI collegiate football college until the Univesity of the Visayas (UV) halted its reign in 2005.

The Spiking Jaguars made it to the championship last year but lost to USC.

The rest of the USJ-R players are Marvin Abelgas, Franco Cedullo, Michael De los Santos, Ronan De Guzman, Ralph Gaite, Heron Isugan, Jonathan Jamili, Floren Luague, Robert Manayon, Adrianne Mejaran, Rowell Unabia, Earl Yagao, and Nathaniel Yburan.

In the battle for third, University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Spiking Panthers defeated the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters via penalty shotout, 4-2.

Among those who delivered the winning goals for USPF were John Cosayan, Rodriguez,Deck Pacana and Jonathan Tan.

The event ended on a successful note under the supervision of tournament director and former Cebu Football Association (CebuFA) president Jonathan “Maxi” Maximo.


Courtesy of SUN STAR DAILY Newspaper ( 23, 2007 Sunday issue
By Edri K. Aznar, Staff Reporter
Mike Limpag, Sports Editor

TEMPERS rose and bodies banged under the heat of the sun as the grudge match between University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) and University of San Carlos (USC) for the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. football title unveiled yesterday at the USC-TC football field.

USJR, a former four-time champion of the event, finally grasped the golden trophy once again after two years of failing to do so in a 2-0 victory over the defending champion.

The ravenous USC team started out strong in the first few minutes of the game and attacking USJR, getting one shot after the other and almost scoring a goal, but USJR’s defense proved up to the task.

After a scoreless first half, the two teams continued to battle for the first goal in the second half and a momentary loss of concentration had the USC behind.

While most of the team were busy contesting a perceived foul on the other end of the field, USJR counterattacked and Paul dela Victoria’s beautiful cross found Robert Mamac by his lonesome for the first goal in the 72nd minute.

Dela Victoria upped the intensity of the match as, while the perceive no call was still fresh on USC’s mind, he took off his uniform to show his undershirt with the words “It’s showtime” to the USJ-R bench.

Dela Victoria got a yellow card for his theatrics, while teammates Joven Torres, Arlon Sabal, Edward Lachica and Eduardo Buglosa and USC’s Hubert Buot joined him in the referee’s notebook for various infractions.


USC tried to press for the equalizer but a defensive hole at their right flank left Anselmo Pulmones open for another uncontested, leaving the USC keeper helpless.

As time dwindled, the USC team was visibly tired, while USJ-R held on to its defense to preserve the score.


USJ-R’s coach, Joselito Bono, who normally is a loud presence at the baseline as he hollers instructions, was more relaxed and was even smiling as the match drew to a close.

“After two years we finally are the champions again. I’m really happy and proud of my team for winning this championship” said Coach Bono of USJR.

Earlier University of Southern Philippines Foundation grabbed the third place as they defeated University of Cebu, 4-2, in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw at regulation.

Joseph Rodriguez of USPF drew first blood as he struck a goal in the 16th minute and Michael Diano made it 2-0 in the 39th minute.

However, UC fought back and Rodney Gandiongco scored in the 66th minute before Jessie Roy Melgo got the equalizer in the 76th.

In the penalty shootout USPF converted their first four shots, while UC missed two, giving USPF the victory.