Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Booters cited for AFF Cup feat

Posted by chardyboy on Tuesday, February 08, 2011 0 comments

source: (The Philippine Star) 

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine men’s football team, more popularly known as the Azkals, will be bestowed with the Presidential Achievement Award during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA)-Coca-Cola Annual Awards Night on March 5 at the Manila Hotel.

The Azkals fell short of their finals bid in the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, losing to the Indonesians in the semifinals. But their effort created a big impact that revived the nation’s interest in football.

Team manager Dan Stephen Palami, president of the Leyte Football Association, and the man credited for forming the team, will share the spotlight with the Azkals as he will be the recipient of the Executive of the Year honor from the country’s oldest media organization on this special night also presented by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), San Miguel Corp., Harbour Centre, Nihao Mineral Resources International Inc. and Accel.

The Azkals, who lost in two semifinal games against Indonesia, were heavily considered for the 2010 Athlete of the Year honor by the PSA, but were beaten out for the coveted award by reigning World 9-Ball champion Francisco `Django’ Bustamante and the trio of Asian Games gold medal winners Biboy Rivera, Rey Saludar and Dennis Orcollo.

Nonetheless, they will still be recognized by the association, composed of editors and sportswriters from the national broadsheets and tabloids, with one of its most significant awards, whose past recipients include boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao, four-time PBA MVP Alvin Patrimonio, the 2003 world women’s trio champion of Liza del Rosario, Liza Clutario and Cecilia Yap, the 2002 Ateneo Blue Eagles champion team, and Senator Manny Villar.
Receiving major awards in their respective fields are 14 outstanding individuals led by the brother tandem of Jean-Pierre and Brian Sabido along with Anthony Matias, who bagged the gold medal in the 5th WTF World Poomsae Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The year’s National Sports Association award is going to be hand out to the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP), while coaching legend Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan and celebrated international boxing referee Carlos Padilla Jr. are to be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Taking their place in the PSA Hall of Fame for 2010 are billiards icon Efren “Bata” Reyes and the late FIDE president Florencio Campomanes.

The Azkals earned a berth in the tournament proper of the Suzuki Cup by clinching second place behind host Laos during the qualifying meet. The team finished with one win and two draw record, including a 5-0 crushing of Timor Leste and holding the host to a 2-2 standoff after trailing 0-2 in the opening half.

The best was yet to come.

After an impressive 1-1 draw with Singapore in their opening assignment, the Azkals proceeded and shocked defending champion Vietnam, 2-0, in a stunning conquest good enough to make it as the 10th best football story of 2010 by the esteemed magazine Sports Illustrated.

Coupled by a scoreless draw with Myamar in their final match in the eliminations, the twin feats posted by the highly-popular Azkals earned them a maiden berth in the semifinals of the 14-year tournament previously known as the Tiger Cup.

But opposite regional power Indonesia, the Azkals were stopped on their tracks in the semis, as the host came through with an aggregate 2-0 score in their two meetings before an overflow crowd at the Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.


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