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top games Azkals look ahead to SEA <b>Games</b> | Running and Sports Hub

Azkals look ahead to SEA <b>Games</b> | Running and Sports Hub

Posted: 19 Mar 2011 06:12 AM PDT

... are enlisting three under-23 recruits to play in the group stage of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup in Yangon, Myanmar, with the view of preparing for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia this November. ... Azkals look ahead to SEA <b>Games</b>

Posted: 18 Mar 2011 06:00 PM PDT

source: Joaquin Henson |

Philippine football team manager Dan Palami said yesterday the Azkals are enlisting three under-23 recruits to play the group stage of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup in Yangon, Myanmar, with the view of preparing for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia this November.

We’re bringing in younger players for exposure,” said Palami. “Hopefully, they’ll be veterans by the time we play in the SEA Games.”

The under-23 recruits are Fil-German Patrick Hinrichsen of German league club SC Eintracht Oberusel, David Basa of the University of Sto. Tomas and Yannick Tuason of the Kaya club and La Salle. Struck out from the Azkals roster for Myanmar were Joebel Bermejo, 30, Rey Palmes, 31, Jerry Barbaso, 22, Kim Relucio, 32, and Peter Jaugan, 27.

Aside from the three players, Palami said the team is adding Fil-Spanish 26-year-old striker Angel Aldeguer Guirado of Spanish Division III club Deportivo Ronda of Malaga, Laguna-born 29-year-old William Espinosa who learned how to play in Germany and Philippine Army 24-year-old midfielder Ricardo Becite.

Hinrichsen, 20, was scheduled to arrive from Germany yesterday and will join the Azkals when they take off for Myanmar this morning. Guirado also flew in yesterday to make the trip.

Basa, 21, has previously played for the national squad while Tuason, 22, is making his debut as a rookie.

Palami said goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and defender Rob Gier will fly direct to Myanmar from England. Missing the trip is Phil Younghusband who was confirmed to be suffering from a Grade 2 hamstring tear in an MRI taken at St. Luke’s Hospital last Thursday. Palami said no surgery is required and the injury will take three to four weeks to heal. After a week, Younghusband will undergo rehabilitation. Another absentee is Jason de Jong, now playing in the Indonesian league.

To look for new talent, Azkal mainstays Aly Borromeo and Anton del Rosario will conduct tryouts in the US for two weeks in April. Tryouts are set in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City. Borromeo and Del Rosario leave Manila for the US on April 3. Announcement of the tryouts was made in the internet and a Philippine Football Federation (PFF) source said the response has been widespread.

Palami said Fil-Danish player Jerry Lucena was supposed to play in Myanmar but suffered in injury at practice and was not allowed by his Danish Division I club AGF Aarhus to fly out.

PFF president Mariano Araneta said the Azkals’ goal is to advance beyond the group stage to the eight-team finals of the Challenge Cup.

“Our players were disappointed we lost the match in Mongolia but we still qualified for the group stage,” said Araneta. “Let’s count our blessings. We shouldn’t dwell on what could’ve happened in Mongolia. Instead, let’s focus on our accomplishments and play to win in Myanmar. Remember, we weren’t complete in Mongolia and we faced adverse conditions.”

Araneta said in Mongolia, the wind factor made it even harder for the players to adapt to the weather. “It was freezing,” said Araneta. “I was sitting in an open box at the stadium and the organizers provided a blanket because it was so cold. Our players told me when they opened their mouth to communicate on the field, they almost got locked jaw. We were stiff and sluggish. It’s like when you wake up to a cold morning, you don’t want to get up from bed. That’s how it felt out there on the field.”

Araneta said defender Ray Jonsson’s ordeal exemplified the Azkals’ determination. “Ray was held in the Beijing airport for almost two days,” said Araneta. “For some reason, he wasn’t allowed to proceed to Ulan Bator with no visa despite a letter of guarantee from Mongolia. Ray traveled with an Iceland passport because we had his Philippine passport in Ulan Bator. What we couldn’t understand was coach Michael (Weiss) also had no visa and traveled with a German passport yet he was allowed to fly to Mongolia. Ray had to go via Incheon to finally land in Mongolia.”

Former national coach Juan Cutillas said it seemed that the Azkals never adapted to weather and ground conditions in Mongolia.

“I think the team lost some credibility,” he said. “No excuses for the loss. We should’ve beaten Mongolia. We had little passing. We couldn’t change the pace of the game. We weren’t helping each other out. We needed to play a more compact game. Instead, we played to the pace of Mongolia with long balls. Mongolia played physical. We didn’t play our game.”

Four teams are bracketed in Group A of the Challenge Cup – the Philippines, Bangladesh, Palestine and host Myanmar. In last year’s Challenge Cup, Myanmar and Bangladesh broke into the eight-team finals. Myanmar finished fourth behind winner North Korea, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. Others in the finals were India, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Myanmar crushed Sri Lanka, 4-0, and repulsed Bangladesh, 2-1, but bowed to Tajikistan, 3-0, North Korea, 5-0, and Tajikistan again, 1-0 (in the playoff for third) during the competitions.

The top two finishers of Group A will advance to the eight-team finals with the top two finishers of Groups B, C and D. Making up Group B are India, Pakistan, Chinese-Taipei and Turkmenistan. Group C is composed of host Maldives, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Cambodia. Defending champion North Korea, host Nepal, Sri Lanka and the winner of the Bhutan-Afghanistan qualifiers comprise Group D.

The Azkals play Myanmar on March 21, Palestine on March 23 and Bangladesh on March 25. Palestine recently played a pair of friendlies with Pakistan in Karachi, winning one, 2-1, and drawing the other, 0-0. Palestine has been in Kuwait for training since March 6 and will break camp today.

Weiss told The STAR that playing host Myanmar ahead of the others is “no problem.” He added, “we’ll eventually play all the teams anyway.” Experts said it may be an advantage for the Philippines to play the toughest team before Palestine and Bangladesh – that way, depending on the outcome, the Azkals may be able to target by how many goals they should win in the remaining matches to qualify for the final eight.

by Joaquin Henson |


Filipino Football: Azkals look ahead to SEA <b>Games</b>

Posted: 18 Mar 2011 10:13 AM PDT

... are enlisting three under-23 recruits to play in the group stage of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup in Yangon, Myanmar, with the view of preparing for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia this November. ...

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I didn't grow up in a church home and I didn't grow up really understanding what Lent was. I only knew Ash Wednesday as a strange day when people wore ashes on their foreheads. And for me, Easter was the day the bunny came and I searched for my much-anticipated Easter basket, adorned with chocolate eggs & treats, jelly beans, and other little goodies, surrounded in a bed of fake grass. I knew people went to church on Easter but I was pretty sure it was only because it was a national holiday that happened to fall on a Sunday.

Since growing up and becoming a Christian, the holiday holds a deeper, more significant meaning to me, of course, in commemorating the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus.

And like many other Christians, I have committed to giving something up this Lent season, to allow more time for prayer and reading and reflection.

I've decided to give up video games.

It is a bit funny to me since I've never really been a video games person. But the old school ones (ie-ones I remember from my childhood, playing with my older brother on the original Nintendo system) we can play on our computers here. It is quite the contrast, comparing the graphics and dimensions and capabilities to our Nintendo Wii back home, but it is still relaxing and allows me to "zone" out after a busy day of teaching and meetings and consultations with students and reading and grading papers and lesson planning and other socializing.

Which, of course, is necessary. I think it is important to give yourself time to decompress. My problem is I seem to have a developed a slight addiction to these mind-numbing games.

And when you don't have a heck of a lot of free time as it is, it really has eaten into mine. And really, when all is said and done at the end of the day, and I realize how much time I've wasted on games, I really regret it. Part of this is because I'm not good at stopping once I start. ("Just one more game," Just until we even it up" or "Just let me catch up and get ahead, Brandon!")

And, I've decided there are other better ways I could be spending my time. I can choose to zone out in more productive, more renewing ways. And so far, what I've found is that I am reading more: for pleasure, for professional development and for developing my faith, writing more letters, socializing more (talking more with friends, students and neighbors, even conversing more with Brandon about our days rather than just using him as my video game buddy), etc.

I wish I could truthfully say that I'm just using this time to engage in deep meditation and having meaningful conversations with God. That I have foregone video games to become a pious Christian, devotedly using every spare minute to read His word and pray to Him.

Yeah, that would a nice confession. But I'm not (anywhere near) there.

But you know, I don't think I have to only use this time for that. Granted, I don't think it would be a BAD way to spend my time. But I think that breaks in routine and reconsidering how we spend (or waste) our time, are important first steps. Period. I think God can nudge us to reconsider what we do and what we don't do. And that just that very first step of questioning what we do & don't do and making slight changes to that routine can make a huge difference.

And really, I could beat myself up, like I am so fond of doing, for not using every spare minute as productively as I possibly could, or that I think I should, but you know, I don't think that's the point.

And if I were to do that, I think I'd be focusing on the wrong thing.

So now, even if the computer screen now displays facebook pages, instead video games...

Oops. :) It can constitute relationship-building too, right? I hope?

So, clearly, I am not trying to be sanctimonious here. On the contrary, my fear is that I am just replacing one vice with another, as the previous line indicates, written only partly in jest.

But my point is, I wonder if God can and does use changes in routine as important lessons...even when the changes we make are not always perfectly nun-like.

It still gives us a time to stop. To breathe. To listen. To hear. To remember.

If we just take a time-out for a minute or two every day from what we fill our days with, and remember what this season is all about, or even just to remember what is important to us & in life, to consider what it is we (should) value,...

I think it's time well spent. Changes well made. Even if that time of quiet reflection and relationship building still happens via the internet, while on the computer.

As I prepare for this Easter, I am not awaiting Peterson's chocolate peanut butter eggs and marshmallow peeps and jelliebellie jellybeans. But I am trying to have faith and patience and trust that God has a plan and is at work within me.

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This item is currently backordered [] with no firm available date. As soon as it's available you'll be able to purchase it right here.

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