|The Mighty and Proud Silver Medalists - Philippine Azkals from the AFC Challege Cup|
I was one of the few, no, millions of people who watched early morning games of the Philippine Azkals during the AFC Challenge Cup in Maldives. It wouldn't be possible without the help of ABSCBN Sports who streamed these games live during the past few weeks while our boys fought for the country once again. They all appeared quite apologetic though during the interview because they wanted to have won the gold during the games; quite humble still for these guys right? Then they go on promising a Gold medal performance on the Suzuki Cup slated late this year. Now that's the Azkals spirit!
|Azkals Striker Phil Younghusband|
"The messages and support we received were overwhelming and we could have won the tournament but overall it was a successful bid. To the media, the fans, especially to the Filipinos who stood up for us when some locals jeered... thank you! we all support each other and we are all so close, even those who were in the bench. We're looking forward to the next one." says Azkals striker Phil Younghusband.
Team Manager Dan Palami can't thank all the players enough for their maturity and attitude because they didn't cause problems at all while they were there. He adds "There were many firsts here. First time to beat Laos, first time to beat Maldives as well. We have always set the bar high and nothing but the championship was the goal for us, but we are looking forward to putting Philippine Football on top in Asia. A pretty good feat on its own."
19 year old Sato says he's very thankful for the support of the fans and promises in the Suzuki cup that they will do their best next time. He declares "We will get that gold now" to the delight of the crowd that afternoon. "It was amazing, a little disappointing but we thank you for the support. The people, especially the Pinoys in Maldives felt like family. We got seasick but we're alright." says Simon Greatwich who had some small issues with traveling there from other islands. He says it was really hard for them to practice and go to game venues because the only way to get there were by boats; but they were so thankful for the Continental Air sandwiches which they miss a lot! Even Anton Del Rosario had the same sentiment. He adds "Thank you to the people who put up with the natives there. We want to play with them again and I hope we don't go to boats again."
They joked a ton like that.
Dino Laurena head of ABSCBN Integrated Sports pronounces their support for the Azkals once more and reiterates they will continue to support the team by having their games broadcasted live so a lot of Filipinos continue to get inspired and love the sport. ABSCBN will be covering the upcoming Philippine Peace Cup, the Group Stages of the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup and will be airing everything on ABS-CBN Sports + Action channel. This will all kicks off November this year so you better watch out for that!
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