• Rogie Maglinas would have been an Azkal

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    ROMY P. MARIÑAS

    ROMY P. MARIÑAS

    Philippine football has just lost a promising winger.

    Rogie Maglinas passed away last February 2, reportedly succumbing to rhabdomyosarcoma or cancer of the skeletal muscles.

    He was 19.

    During his short playing career, he was said to have accounted for himself well with the University of the Philippines eleven.

    In 2011, he tried out for the UP football team under Coach Anto Gonzales, a former Azkal.

    Gonzales, apparently impressed with the teenager, who was “very confident” with the ball and a good “dribbler,” took him in.

    Rogie was given jersey No. 15.

    He got in at UP—one of the top futbol squads in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) for many decades—through a scholarship.

    His parents are farmers in his home province of Masbate in the Bicol Region.

    The Maglinas family of five boys had a hard life and the third youngest Rogie said poverty did not deter him from pursuing his dream to play college football.

    He had been discouraged by other young men in Masbate to wake up but, not one to be shut up, he even told them that he wanted to be a member of the Azkals, the Philippine national men’s football team, which concededly has been behind an apparent resurgence of the beautiful game in the country.

    But the closest he got to being an Azkal was when he was visited by Phil Younghusband, Misagh Bahadoran and Simone Rota in December last year when he was already bed-ridden.

    Except for his shaved head that gave away the fact that he was undergoing chemotherapy, Rogie seemed in high spirits, even high-fiving with his famous visitors.

    His life was cut short when Season 78 of UAAP football was about to begin (February 7).

    Rogie’s teammates were saddened by the winger leaving them so soon.

    It would have been the Masbate boy’s fourth season in UAAP and the rest of the Maroons said they can only dedicate their first game against defending champion Far Eastern University to Rogie.

    Where he is now, the winger could be watching the 78th season’s games.

    Until then, so long, Regie!

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