• Cardinal rule



    The thought that they relatively are newcomers to Philippine collegiate football probably would enable Mapua players to get over in a short time the 10-0 shellacking that San Beda College dealt them during a match this week in Season 93 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

    Another thought probably would be that the Red Lions are the defending champions and are, in fact, chasing a record as the winner of the biggest number of titles in NCAA football.

    They actually are tied with De La Salle University for that distinction but the Green Archers a long time ago move to the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).

    In another NCAA sport—basketball—that Mapua used to lord over in the 1970s, the famed engineering school’s performance this season was disappointing, nearly finishing last but “thanks” to the luckless University of Santo Tomas that finished dead last.

    Mapua is winless in two games in Season 93, as is University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, but it should not lose heart although it could be demoralizing to lose by 10 goals, which, in football amounts to a massacre or, to be merciful, a one hell of a beating.

    But the Philippine national football team, pre-Azkals, was humiliated by Indonesia by more than 10 goals a few decades ago.

    The Philippine Azkals has since given Indonesia a dose of its own medicine to more or less even the score.

    Mapua and Perpetual fielding collegiate football teams seems to have debunked the notion that the beautiful game, at least in the NCAA, should be played only by schools founded by foreign priests like San Beda.

    Elitism has stigmatized futbol in these parts but thanks to Mapua, Perpetual, Emilio Aguinaldo College and Arellano University, among a few others in the NCAA, a social barrier in sports has been taken down.

    The NCAA football program, however, lags behind that of the UAAP, which has sent more collegiate stars to the roster of the Philippine Azkals.

    Among such stars are Paolo Bugas, Paolo Salenga, Amani Aguinaldo and Javier Gayoso, to name a few.

    For now, Mapua and Perpetual can only try to make better footballers of their players.

    Who knows one or two from them could become Azkals and help the Philippine national football team make it to the third round of qualification for the 2022 World Cup?

    Just a thought.


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