Young defender Marco Casambre is proud being part of the Azkals during the team’s group stage match against Thailand in the 2016 Suzuki Cup on November 25.
The 17-year-old center back made his presence felt as a defender though the Azkals lost 0-1 to the reigning Southeast Asian champions.
“For me, I was happy with myself that I had a good performance even though I did not finish the game,” Casambre said in Filipino in an interview.
Casambre kept the Thais at bay during his 79-minute performance.
He said that he was satisfied with his show of skill against the Thais and vowed that he will work on improving his prowess for his next game with the Azkals.
“I believe my performance was okay but next time I really need to finish one whole game because my legs cramped up toward the end of the game against Thailand,” he said.
Casambre, from Quezon City, has represented the country in Under-13 and Under-19 level competitions abroad.
He also served a vital role in the successful double victories of Global FC in the United Football League.
Casambre recalled being anxious learning he would play alongside veteran Amani Aguinaldo.
“At first, I was really nervous because it was my first time in this level of tournament and I really had to play well,” he mentioned.
He added that his fellow booter Daniel Gadia, who joined the Azkals earlier this year, gave him advice prior to his first game for the Philippines.
“He (Gadia) told me that I should just focus and that I should keep calm and just focus on playing for our country,” he said.
With the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) football season just around the corner, Casambre said that playing in the UAAP would be a good experience for him.
He is set to start his collegiate football career under coach Anto Gonzales of the University of the Philippines early next year.
“This is a good start for me and a good motivation for me and my teammates to perform well in the upcoming UAAP season,” he concluded.