Azkals hyped for Sri Lanka



I got a glimpse of the Azkals TV Special.

It’s a must-see if ever they replay it.

I got a lot of infos that you wouldn’t know unless you are an insider.

Baratoc Nuevo is basically the country’s supplier of pure breed football players. Chieffy Caligdong wears jersey #13 in homage to his brother. Chieffy is also an army man. He hails from Baratoc Nuevo, Ilo-Ilo just like Ian Araneta. Araneta plays forward for the squad and he is also an army man (Air Force). His dad is a former National Team member. Caligdong and Araneta are two of the most important pure breed stars in the squad.  

Of course, the team is filled with Fil-Foreigners. Phil Younghusband is the group’s most showbiz player whilst his brother James, is laid back. Both players though, are important ingredients for the team’s success. Both guys had stints with the English football team Chelsea. Aly Borromeo, the team’s captain, Neil Ehteridge, the team’s main goalkeeper, Anton del Rosario, Rob Gier, Roel Gener, Jason Sabio, Jason de Jong, and Spanish jumping bean Angel Guirado, are amongst the team’s top guns. Since football in the Philippines is relatively new, I doubt if the Fil-Foreigner influx will cause a lot of people to duplicate the events that transpired on the PBA Fil-Ams of the early 2000’s.

Because of the team’s popularity, the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium has been improved to suit for international standards. However, there’s a plan to make a bigger arena to suit more fans.

You see, you have to love the improvements caused by this current football outbreak. Because of this, the sport that best suit the Filipinos is getting the praise it needs. Also, basketball is more than ever stepping up. Sure, Smart-Gilas will have a tough time to claim an Olympic spot but with the ascension of football, basketball is bent to reclaim their fans. The PBA will always be there (although TV time is currently an issue) but for basketball to boom anew, the Smart-Gilas squad must become the best in Asia.  

The special is made to prime people of the Philippines versus Sri Lanka match. The only beef I have with the special is in the script, Dyan Castillejo VO-ed that the Azkals is an amateur team and no amateur has gotten the acclaim the team is having right now. First off, I hate the term amateur because they are saying it too loosely. I would rather have them use “national team” than “amateur” because the word amateur is also synonymous to “less than professional”.

Most if not all of the players in and out of the Azkals roster are playing for the local clubs as well as in other parts of the world.

Also, in case that people forgot, Onyok Velasco won a silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. While Anthony Villanueva won a silver in 1960, Onyok enjoyed it better because the gold hunt in 1996 was more pronounced than in 1960.  

Sri Lanka has been overtaken by the Azkals in the FIFA rankings but since they are the home team, expect them to get most of the breaks. This is why we need to contain them as quickly as possible for the hometown decision to lapse. We need to control the tempo at the get-go, execute our highly-touted defense, destroy all the distractions, and inflict serious damage with our offense.

Game over.

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