Thursday, December 3, 2015

My Iconic Shots of the PFF U22

The following are photos which for me captures the drama of the PFF U22 Championships here in Surigao City. This will wrap up my coverage of the recent football event here. 

Postscript of the PFF U22 Championships

Atty. Jerry Centro (left) is the Team Manager of One Surigao team and Stephen Gorgonio is the current President of the Surigao del Norte Football Federation. The dynamic helped form and organized a strong football team composed of the best of club players in Surigao City and Tandag City, hence One Surigao. 

The boys got to play the official FIFA approved balls for this tournament. 

The one who interviewed Atty. Centro is Mario Simorlan, a radio blocktimer and reporter who is also the immediate past President of the Surigao del Norte Football Association. 

Butuan team

Surigao Team

All teams except the host Surigao team are billeted in pension houses in the city complete with air condition rooms and cable tv. Some teams have their own buses. 

The tournament was graced by Mr. Cyril V. Dofitas, the tournament director of the PFF U22. Aside from supervising the tournament, Mr. Dofitas also wanted to look at the Surigao football field and was accordingly satisfied. Except for the lights which was found inadequate for being too low, the Surigao football field was adjudged as excellent especially its location where it is in the heart of the city near hotels and accommodation facilities. 

Referees earned as much as 1,000 pesos per game. The job looks promising for a sideline but accordingly the qualification is tough with physical test that determines ones fitness and endurance. 

The Surigao coaching staff. Head coach Christiano Repeso (center) and Mark Salubre Manlimos, assistant coach (partly hidden) and Victor Gorgonio, adviser (left). Repeso and Manlimos are both connected with San Juan FC and Gorgonio with Surigao United. 

The Surigao del Norte Football Association hosted a dinner with coaching staffs of the participating teams as well as tournament officials at Tavern Hotel where everything about Mindanao football were discussed and shared. 

One Surigao team also had its beach party on the next day at Mabua beach. Its a great way to reward themselves with their hardwork and excellent showing in the recent PFF U22 tournament.  Just a few miscues that denied them of greater achievement in this tournament but the boys showed a good promise. The activity is attended by SDNFA President Stephen Gorgonio and the coaching staff. 

So there you go folks. The next would be about photos and it will be the last one related to the tournament. Until next time guys! 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Most Notable Players in the Smart PFF U22 Championships in 2015 Group E

I have been covering daily the recent 3 day Smart PFF Under 22 Championships and as I took photos, watch the boys played and look at the stats, I can't help but noticed that there are gems that needs to be polished among them. You see, tournaments like this is part of grassroots development and it is very encouraging. While football may not have gain foothold in majority of the youth's today, the present generation of young players holds promise for the future of Philippine football. 

And with this, I try to share my thoughts in the hopes our officials in football can recognize the talents that are waiting to be tapped in this part of the country. Mindanao, after all, is the source of football talents in the national arena, perhaps second only to the Western Visayas region. 

And so here is my list of the outstanding performances in the recent tournament. Check it out, make some reactions, comments, additional informations, and suggestions,  if you like, to make the list more comprehensive and true. I have 8 on the list and I will start from the Number 8. 

8. The entire Butuan squad

I can't figure an individual among them who stands out. Maybe because of their dismal showing in this tournament. But I see how they play, how they defend and how they attack. These boys play cohesive football as a unit. They maybe down, but they are always threatening in their attacks. Oh how lovely to look at them when they run together, so fluid and so coordinated. The only one thats missing is a great finishing. Give these boys some more time to play together and they will make waves. 

7. Reneil Tare, Surigao goalkeeper

Sure, he conceded five goals but most of them were indefensible. However, he was able to save a penalty against Butuan in the last game. The opposition could have scored more but his generalship in the goal keep the scoreline respectable for the host team. That's why he earned my nod. 

6. Ariel Saren, Iligan striker

The burly and barreling striker scored 4 goals in the games I witnessed. His control of the passes is exceptional and his positioning almost deliberate. He can mow down weak defenses with his strong physique. He is terror when he is inside the box blasting shots. 

5. Clint Agustine Timones, Bukidnon left wing

This Bukidnon left wing scored two goals in his three starts. In the winning performance against Iligan, Timones, set a screamer from outside the box that furiously swing at the back of the net. Though not a physically endowed as a left winger, he is a very reliable workhorse at the front who can score anytime as well. 

4. Alberto Echin Jr., One Surigao left wing

This Surigao No. 14 remains true to his billing. A member of the University of the East men's football varsity, the Association went out of its way to make him play and available in this tournament. He never disappoints. He score two goals as in many games he played. Watch this guy play in the UAAP Football tournament come February next year. 

3. Juarlito Daga-ang, Bukidnon midfielder

If there is a description of a workhorse, then this guy squarely fits. He is everywhere. Defenders sometimes are reduced crawling on all fours just to keep up with him. His work rate is amazing. He scored a goal against One Surigao in this tournament. 

2. Clayton Bhai, Bukidnon striker 

I refer him as the "Emmanuel Adebayor" of this tournament. He score the lone goal in its game against Butuan and a hat trick against Iligan.  He terrorized opposing teams goals with his strength, stamina and hustle play. Perhaps his great asset is his long and quick strides. He can circle goalkeepers or side step defenders in clock work fashion. No wonder he is prolific in this tournament. 

And my number 1. 

Eliezer Dominic de la Torre, Iligan Left wing

Now, if you put all the 22 players on the pitch and they will start to move, you already know who is the best. This boy really stands out of the crowd. His moves are so different that you will really notice him, even if your not a football buff. His dribbling ability is superior and the way he shifts his body is outstanding. This guy is a dribbler par excellence. He never scored but that doesn't take away the talent dish out by this diminutive winger. 

Guys, you are looking at a future Azkal here.

So there you go again folks, I am no football expert. I was just trying to make football interesting and well at the same time help these guys to be noticed whoever wants to notice. 

Be free to react and disagree. It's welcome. 

Smart PFF U22: One Surigao salvages a win against Butuan 2-1

Surigao City - Saving the best for last.That is what the host One Surigao team is doing  against an equally determined Butuan side in the last game in the Group E competitions of Smart PFF Under 22.

The first goal from One Surigao was courtesy of Alberto Echin Jr.which is his second  in as many games he played.  Echin, who is a mainstay of the University of the East in the UAAP was called all expenses paid just to beef up the One Surigao IX.  It paid off as Echin scored two goals in the two games that he suited up for One Surigao. 

One Surigao increased its lead with a sublime through ball that found Nikko Chad Concha all alone and slotted the ball against a diving goalkeeper.

Nikko Chad Concha scored after a through ball
The two goal cushion however was gone when Butuan scored a goal midway into the second half.  The game turned messy later in the second half as emotions got into the players with each team being given red cards for hard fouls and unsportsmanlike behavior.  

One Surigao held on to the slim lead at the final whistle. With the win, One Surigao finished third with 4 points behind Iligan with 6 and the eventual winner, Bukidnon with 7. Butuan finished last without a point but with one goal at the final tally.