By Mike T. Limpag
Saturday, October 15, 2011
AFTER a one-week delay, the Cebu Queen City United will finally make their UFL Cup debut against defending champion Global FC in Manila today.
Cebu Queen City was supposed to play Pachanga last week but the game was cancelled and coach Mario Ceniza said though they were disappointed with the cancellation, the delay has helped the team a bit.
“Nakatabang gamay ang extra week na training,” said Ceniza, who formed the team in less than a month as Cebu was the last entry to sign up for the UFL, the country’s premier football competition.
However, Ceniza said they weren’t able to play a tuneup game the past week because of the lack of quality opposition, as the college teams are busy with their Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. campaign.
“Conditioning-wise, the players are OK as seen during the trainings and drills, but I really can’t say for sure because match fitness is different,” said Ceniza.
Ceniza, the coaching staff and players left for Manila yesterday afternoon for their game today. The Cebu Queen City players are Frederick Alazas, Alex Buanghog, Niño Zapanta, Dave Gerali, Jan Michael Flores, Ronald Mahilum, Julius Acre, Rocky Garciano, Mitsuo Tsunakiri, Junard Aguilar, Rommel Cuizon, Jack Reston, Christian Delan, Martin Bontia, Rene Menchavez and Marion Cubelo.
It’s the same problem for Graeme Mackinnon, the new Global coach, who has to deal with injury issues.
Mackinnon said he will put defender Jerry Barbaso in midfield to cover for the injured Remi Sery, one of the goal scorers in Global’s 3-2 loss to the Stallions.
“Right now, our bench is very shallow. (Remi) wasn’t able to finish the practice last Thursday because of his injury,” Mackinnon said.
Filipino Spanish player Angel Aldeguer also won’t suit up owing to the injury he picked up in the Azkals’ friendly against Singapore, and Mackinnon is planning to field the striker in their game against Pachanga.
The weather in Manila has also foiled the team’s practice and Mackinnon said they had to play seven-a-side football in a basketball court during their last session.
Mackinnon said he expects a tough game today.
“They (the players) know they have to redeem themselves after last week’s game. They have to get together,” Mackinnon said. “But we are not taking Cebu lately. We are expecting a tough match.”
“If you get complacent, it will come back to bite you,” he said.
The Stallions lead Group C with three points with a win, while Global, Cebu and Pachanga have yet to score a win.
In yesterday’s game, Phil Younghusband led the Loyola Meralco Sparks to a 15-1 rout of Socceroos, while Nate Burkey had a hat trick in Kaya FC’s 3-2 win over Diliman.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 16, 2011.