Limpag: Colina’s chance

Mike T. Limpag

LANCELOT Marco Colina was a promising footballer at Bright Academy before his career got derailed a bit when he transferred to the University of San Carlos-Basic Education Department.

When his father Totot was tapped to be one of the coaches of USC-BED, there was a bit of a struggle, to put it mildly, and he became one of the casualties and it wasn’t his fault.

But of course, you can never put a good player down. Now based in Qatar, the 12-ear-old got a break of a lifetime when he got a chance to join a trial for Aspire Football Academy, the first Filipino to join a trial in the club.

His father, a member of the the University of San Jose-Recoletos college team that won four straight Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. titles, is ecstatic.

“It’s not easy to get a slot in the trials, especially if you’re not Arabic,” he told me in Cebuano.

Totot said he took a chance and applied for a spot in the Academy in October and felt like he won the lottery when his son got a slot.

“They have world class facilities and if you get in, you will be a footbal scholar,” said the former Bright Academy and USC coach.

However, he isn’t getting ahead of himself and is happy that his son got a chance.

“We are okay that he got to join the trial. If he gets in, that would be better. We are proud as Filipinos and as Bisaya,” he said.

What a milestone it would be if Lance indeed makes it and he can learn under such world-class setting and improves tremendously. If he does, heck he can be a shoo-in for the national U16 or even U18 youth teams a few years from now.

Back in 2011, with the Hanoi Miracle still fresh in the mind, the Philippine Football Federation sent a team of youngsters to the UK to give local players the football experience that our Filipino-Foreigners get.

Unfortunately, that program wasn’t sustained though a few of that Little Azkals are still the elite in their division.

By the way, so far, it is only Totot’s team that has won four straight Cesafi titles, which they achieved in the first four years of the league. The University of San Carlos are 45 minutes away from equaling that feat after taking a 1-0 lead in the final, which had to be postponed due to darkness.

Only have

How will that extra week between halves play in the final? I really don’t know. UC has to be on the offensive, while USC can play it safe.

With only 45 minutes left, will there still be a huge crowd just like last week? I hope so.

USC always has a strong fanbase, while UC, I think will benefit from the Cebu City Olympics crowd, since most of the track athletes who will be there during that time are from UC.

The high school final went to a shootout and it would be a blast if the college finals also goes to a shootout.

But I’m sure, if they can choose, the winning team would rather win in regulation rather than go through the hooror of a penalty shootout.