SIR Mike, palihug gud suwat nga si ______, nihilak,” said a smiling member of the Don Bosco Technical College (DBTC) team as they were about to receive their medals for finishing second in their division.
That earned a tease and the frown and disappointed quickly turned into smiles as teammates consoled each other. That was pretty much the theme as I spent most of the tournament, giving out medals. Sad and disappointed faces from the runners-up, who just experienced one of sport’s most cruel saying.
You don’t win a silver medal, you lose the gold.
Still, their sadness and disappointments were temporary as they soon realized that silver isn’t too bad and you can’t win it all, all the time. There were no smug winners too as most were humble in their victories--a positive picture of Cebu football.
Thankfully, there was no repeat of the scene where a coach got blamed by a player for losing in the final like last year’s.
There were the usual winners, DBTC from Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu and St. Theresa’s College. But I was also elated to see a new winner in the Merlions, a team of players from Singapore School of Cebu. I wasn’t there for the awarding but I learned of their victory later.
What I like of their victory in the Players 11 was that I think this was the first batch who got into football and played in the SunStar Cup as Under 7s but skipped the last two years. The team’s comeback got punctuated with a crown and I hope I see them again next year.
Speaking of the Under 7s, fellow organizers Milky and Chad realized how long they’ve been doing this--they’ve been with us since we started in 2012 but are way ahead of us since they are also with the Thirsty Cup, Cebu’s longest-running football festival. They realized the guys in the Under 7s, all those years ago, now have kids of their own playing in the Under 7s.
Fortunately, they don’t look a day older than 35.
I had fun too watching the DBTC coaches, who after their coaching stint played in the Men’s Professional Division.
I think the last time I saw Glen Ramos play was when he was with Fugsports, when they met a Bacolod team led by another football legend, Norman Fegidero, in the Cebu Inter-Club final more than a decade ago.
Though a bit slower, coach Ramos showed he still had it, scoring thrice. Coach Ray Calo also suited up and will have at least one year of gentle ribbing from coaches—and from me—until they see action in next year’s event.
He missed DBTC’s final kick in the penalty shootout, sending Mega Review Center to the final against Leylam FC. Mega Review, a team owned by Peter Lim—a businessman who sells jerseys in front of Abellana National School—was the surprise package, making it all the way to the final.
“At this time last year, we were already having drinks,” he told me.
Overall it was a great experience and I’m looking forward to next year’s. I’m also looking forward to the Thirsty Cup’s soccer moms division—a new one—and if it’s successful we’re going to copy it.