My company is sponsoring a free tennis clinic for an indefinite period of time. I immediately grabbed the opportunity to learn the sport. It's something new to me because I've always used my feet as my primary weapon in football. No hands.
I signed up for the beginner's training and it's really a humbling experience not to even hit the ball with an oversized tennis racquet ! I should know better since I learned football the same way 14 years ago. It's just a matter of executing the proper form and everything will fall into the right places afterwards, i.e., accuracy and power. But for now, I'll have to make do with my wild backhand. :-)
I think I will not have any stamina or endurance problems. It's the proper shot execution that I will have to learn and master. Pete Sampras need not worry though. I'm just taking this up for crosstraining. :-)
I thought last Sunday's football(I mean soccer this time) game in Ateneo was gonna be one of those laid back ones we always have. Unfortunately, it wasn't ! I was in for a surprise when I saw that our opponents in full force together with their girlfriends and wives. They must have gotten there an hour earlier than our set time of 2:45pm which was good since it is a footballer's practice to do so. I too arrived early because I mistimed my departure from Cavite. I drove off early and found myself in Katipunan just an hour later ! Crap ! Could have gotten a decent lunch. Instead I just snacked on siomai. Geesh !
Anyways, our opponents call themselves Los Burrachos. Think the core team is from San Beda. And I think they're pretty well organized too. Someone from their group volunteered to referee the game. Now, if this was just a mere scrimmage no referees were needed. But they must had been serious about this one ! This made cringe even more since I haven't played for 3 weeks already and knowing that this was no easy game.
Los Burrachos immediately stamped their dominance by scoring three early goals - much to our dismay. Fortunately, we pulled one back before the half ended courtesy of Sammy Tang's scrappy goal in the box when I floated in a corner kick for a 3-1 score. Everything changed though in the 2nd half when we continued to be aggressive on the ball. We tied the game at 3-3 and eventually won 5-3 ! Hahahaha! That game must be a kick in the butt for our opponents. Oh well, as we always say, "The ball is round. Anybody can win the game as long as the fat lady has not yet sung ---- or something like that."
Yay! The Patriots have finally ended New England's championship drought for any of their sportsteam since Larry Bird led the Celtics to its last NBA championship in 1986. Showing nerves of steel, they upended the much-favored Rams by scoring the last 3 points on a field goal by Viniateri. They led 17-3 in the 1st half until the Rams caught up 17-17 in the last quarter. With the clock winding down, Viniateri kicked a long one from more than 40 yards away.
Tom Brady came out as the MVP. Tough one for the no.4 quarterback reserve who rose to no.2 quickly. Then when Bledsoe got injured, he ably led the Patriots to win the AFC plum and then finally, SuperBowl XXXVI.
All of New England especially Boston must really be proud. That only means one thing --- there's party everywhere in Beantown!
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.