IT’S a relief to know that football action is back on the pitch.
The Aboitiz Football Cup was launched yesterday at the Aboitiz Sports Field with a decent lineup of exhibition matches.
However, I rue missing the opening ceremonies, especially the highlight of the event—the Under 14 exhibition between the RP team and the Cebu selection, which ended 2-1 in favor of the visitors.
I did catch two friendly games in the afternoon: between San Roque Football Club and Melborne United women’s teams, and between the USC and the USPF men’s teams. SRFC won 7-0, while USC prevailed 3-1.
In the Under 14 exhibition, the Cebu selection held their own against the nationals, drawing first blood when John Paolo Labajo of Don Bosco beat the keeper.
Slightly better ball handling proved the difference, when the nationals retaliated in the 34th minute courtesy of Luichi Clavano’s goal, and sealed the game in the second half with a strike from Jose Soriano on the 47th.
Despite the result, Bingbing Colina, who assisted veteran Glen Ramos in coaching the Cebu selection, told me he was pleased with how their team played.
The selection apparently has practiced as a team for only three sessions, while the nationals have played together for a far longer period.
The Aboitiz Cup will have a break for at least two weeks, as the San Roque Football Festival holds matches for two weekends in their home turf.
The scheduled matches for the Aboitiz Cup have yet to be announced, but what will make this season different from the previous ones is that all the games will be held in one venue:—the Aboitiz Sports Field.
Cebu Football Association president Richard Montayre cited other welcome changes as well. During the weekend matches, 10 11-a-side games will be played in a single day, apart from those played in the smaller fields.
To make this possible, the international-size field will be divided into two 100m x 65m fields, allowing for two full-side matches that will be held simultaneously, Montayre said.
With a single venue where teams and football enthusiasts congregate, the football community can expect a more festive atmosphere during the matches.
Hopefully, this season will be far better organized than the previous one.