Last Sunday, Graeme MacKinnon texted me the results of Cebu's final game against Barotac Nuevo in the recent Coke-Go-For-Goal finals held in Ilo-ilo. They unfortunately lost 2-0 despite sailing through the eliminations and the semis. They beat Masbate(9-0) and Iligan(6-0) early in the week long tournament. In the semis, they clobbered LaSalle Zobel(4-0). Barotac Nuevo obviously was also a strong team. Coming from the Philippines' hotbed for football, they earned the reputation of producing skilled players and technically strong teams. Cebu on the other hand is also a perenially strong footballing province. Especially with the onset of the foundation that MacKinnon and Mario Ceniza are heading, grassroots football is really being developed there.
This setback though will not deter them from pursuing their dream of producing the Philippines' best football team. I'm sure this will drive them more to achieve the aims that MLSDF was founded upon.
To Graeme and Mario, you guys have done a great job for these young lads. Being a football player myself, I know how this beautiful game shapes and builds character. You have already inculcated in these boys the wonderful virtues of patience(when building up for an attack), teamwork(when passing to an open teammate) and the will to win. Trophies and accolades are just the bonuses. You are more importantly teaching them about life. May both of you and your benefactor, M. Lhuillier, be blessed and continue your unselfish acts for Cebu football and the Philippines as a whole.
On a happy note: Watch out for this Cebu team 2 years from now. They'll be a team to contend with in the Adidas Cup Under-19 Championship. Graeme and Mario will make sure of that. Incidentally, 5 of their players are here in Manila after given the chance to tryout for the national youth team slated to play an international tournament months from now.