Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Amazing 2014 Girls U14 Football National Team

If you are a Filipino football fan, you better remember these names:

Stacey Anne Arthur
Itsuko Maree Bacatan 
Jennifer Baroin
Glynnes Dela Cruz
Yasmin May Elauria
Patricia Erika Francisco
Alexandria Gumilao
Chloe Anne Hails 
Tejanee Marie Isulat
Jan Reese Jumawan
Tenelyn Otom
Joyce Semacio 
Mikayla Grace Simons
Francesca Anne Marie Suerte
Arantxa Mari Trebol
Lindsay Whaley 
Annika Bo Velez

Head Coach: Marnelli Salvador Dimzon
Assistants: Joyce Landangan, Melissa Chris Marquez,
Physiotheraphist: Katherine and Soriano

This is the 2014 Girls U14 Football National Team that is making waves in the 2014 AFC U-14 Girls' Regional Championship for the ASEAN Region. The young Malditas will face the similarly undefeated Thailand side tonight for the championship trophy.  While reaching finals has in a way branded this team as overachievers, the team is capable of beating a strong Thai team that has not conceded a goal in the tournament.

This Philippine football team is not your typical team that usually become jubilant reaching the semifinals in an ASEAN level tournament.  The 2014 girls U-14 team dominates opponents and has only conceded one goal so far in the tournament. They destroyed Singapore 6-0.  Then, they upset the dethroned defending champions and hosts Vietnam 1-0.  They capped their group matches with a decisive 5-0 beating of Cambodia.  In the semifinals, the team rallied to a 2-1 victory against Myanmar. 

The leading goal scorers of the team are Cebu's Itsuko Bacatan with 4 followed by the 3 goals of Davao's Joyce Semacio.  The team is composed of players all over the country.  They have just played together for less than 2 months but they somehow buck the odds and slowly showing that the national grassroots program of the Philippine Football Federation is starting to bear fruit. Who knows in 5 years time, these girls will dominate the Southeast Asian football scene.  It might be too optimistic but a victory in the U14 level will be a great shot in the arm for Philippine Women's football.

The 2014 Girls U-14 National Team (photo from

Friday, June 6, 2014

2014 NBA Finals Game 1: The "Heat" beat the Heat

Spurs logo 2002–present
Spurs logo 2002–present (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The 2014 NBA Finals Game 1 will be remembered as the cramp game or the "heat" game.  The game was close fought match until the Lebron James succumbed to cramps. The King's absence made turned what supposed to be a classic finals game into laugher.  The San Antonio Spurs playing at their home court the AT&T Center proved to be more durable and sturdier in a game under intense heat because the air conditioning at the venue was busted.  Lebron James left the game after making his final basket with 3:59 left due to cramps. The score was 94-92 in favor of the Spurs at that time.  The home team finished the game with a 16-3 run.


San Antonio Spurs - They kept their home winning streak alive and the win gives them confidence to win the championship that they could have won last year if not for some odd breaks. This year could be different.  The breaks could be in their favor. The A/C or the lack of it was their sixth man in the game. They have shown that they can stand the heat.... both the team and the temperature.

Tim Duncan - The 38 year old is showing that he can play forever.  The veteran score 21 points to lead his team in scoring in game 1.  He made 9 out of 10 shots. He has always been a model of consistency all throughout his amazing basketball career.  He is all-time great and kids should watch and learn


The Fans - We were robbed with a classic ending.  The game was so close until the Spurs broke away.  Call me spoiled but that is not the kind of ending I want. The funs inside the venue were baked and toasted and they too deserved better.  The ones watching at home would not want a game ending in a rout.  The odds maker are probably livid as well.  Hopefully, the next few games will be remembered for its buzzer beaters, controversial calls, finals moments, and not for the temperature of the venue or players unable to play.

Lebron James - Michael had a flu game. Lebron had cramps and tapped out? He better redeem himself in the next few games.  He became a mere mortal once again and he needs a big bounce back game in Game 2. I am salivating with the idea of him scoring like 50 points in Game 2 and showing the world that game 1 was a fluke like Game 5 in the Indiana series. Well, well, well... let's see what happens.

Game 1 is over and I am already looking forward to Game 2.  It is a seven-game series and the championship is still too close to call right now. The Spurs got the upper hand but it was somehow expected because they are playing at home.  The complexion of the series will only change when a visiting team beats a home team.  This will be a very enjoyable final match-up.

Enhanced by Zemanta