• They play football, too, in Bacolod



    Marwin Angeles used to be an Azkal about six, five years ago and was part of the national football team that paved the way for a revival of sorts of the “beautiful game” in the Philippines.

    This corner saw him play in two internationals at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, maybe between 2009 and 2010.

    At a news conference after one of those games, I was able to talk for a few minutes with Marwin and was surprised at how tall he is, maybe six-foot-three, give or take an inch or two.

    At the time, he looked like he was 20, was very polite and did not talk too much.

    I have not heard of him since, apparently because he was no longer part of the Azkals, whose ranks had been beefed up by other Filipino players with mixed heritage, some the same age as Marwin, some slightly older.

    Until last week, that is, when I read that his club, Ceres-La Salle FC, had won Division 1 of the United Football League (UFL), with still two games to play and making it unreachable by Global FC (already dethroned champion), Kaya and Loyola Meralco Sparks even if these three teams swept their remaining matches.

    Marwin had not been a big scorer even in his Azkal days but in the July 25 clash, he sent one to the back of the net for Ceres, which eventually blanked Team Socceroo, 6-0.

    No, his Bacolod City-based club (formerly UFL Division 2 king) could not have parked the bus with that scoreline, partly because it only needed a draw to nail the title down.

    Ceres-La Salle Football Club, a member of the Negros Occidental Football Association, was originally named Ceres-Negros Football Club.

    “The name Ceres came from the Ceres Liner bus line owned by brothers Ricky and Leo Rey Yanson and operated by Vallacar Transit Inc., the largest public land transportation company in the Negros [r]egion of the Philippines.”

    “La Salle came from the club’s close ties with the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City.”

    The club’s home ground is Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod.

    Its first major success in the UFL came in the 2014 season, when it bagged the country’s premier league’s second tier with a spotless record, earning the club promotion to the first tier.

    Before the promotion, Ceres-La Salle FC had pocketed the UFL FA League Cup.

    Indeed, it has come a long way, the proverbial probinsyano club making it big in the city.

    And with the club’s latest success, it towed Marwin Angeles, the Filipino-Italian who, presumably by now, could be speaking Ilonggo like a native.

    Perhaps, we can ask Marwin if his twin brother—Marvin, who also used to be an Azkal—is, like him, already a fluent speaker of the dialect.

    From ten feet away, during that news conference, I could not tell the difference between the identical twins but it did not matter then.

    What matters now is for Marwin to have been given one good reason (the recent UFL crown) to try to be an Azkal again.


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