Limpag: Classic Don Bosco vs. Ateneo rivalry-A A +A
Sunday, October 6, 2013
I GOT in with some 30 minutes to spare before the Cesafi high school match between rivals Don Bosco Technological Center and Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, and folks were already lining up.
When I got in, I was surprised to see the crowd at the Cebu City Sports Center because for a high school match, it was the largest I’ve ever seen. I think there were more people there during the total crowd for the AFC Presidents Cup matches which Global FC played in.
With some 10 minutes left to play in the PFF Smart Club championships Group E elimination match between Queen City United and Hijos of Samar, the Don Bosco marching band announced their presence loudly and was greeted by cheers by their school mates.
The Ateneo fans, too, had a couple of drums but compared to the marchers of Don Bosco, they were drowned.
Screams of A-TE-NEO to the tune of Let’s Go were also drowned by Let’s Go Bosco but when the game started, it seems it was only the crowd battle that Don Bosco was going to win as Sacred Heart controlled the tempo of the game early.
Sure, the Ateneo keeper was the busier one in the early goings but the attempts barely threatened him, while the Eagles forays in the Don Bosco box were more organized.
They had some three shots that were just inches away, including a lovely fake by Berthram Musni that had everyone plus the referee fooled but his shot, like the previous one, sailed harmlessly past the post.
When the second half started, and with Don Bosco still winning the crowd contest--they had a couple of streakers in the oval with the Don Bosco Greywolves banner—I thought surely, Ateneo was just two or three attempts away from the first goal.
But then, a few minutes in, Ateneo’s keeper mistimed his approach, leaving the goal empty for a simple tap in by Glen Thomas Ramos, the son of the Don Bosco coach and the nephew of Ateneo’s mentor Lito. That sent the Don Bosco crowd on its feet but for Ateneo, there was still hope as the players weren’t giving up.
And judging by how the Bosconians seemed out of shape, dropping to the ground due to cramps by pairs, it seems Ateneo was poised to score a couple more before the final whistle.
But it wasn’t meant to be and Don Bosco, which for the past couple of years or so, couldn’t beat Ateneo in this division, finally got one past their rivals and at the most opportune time.
The crowd at the CCSC got me thinking, if in next year’s Cesafi finals, the two teams will still meet, how about a two-legged affair in the finals? Don Bosco can host one and Sacred Heart, the other? And of course, away goals count.
That should give their home fans a reason to celebrate and I don’t think there would be a problem with crowd behavior. Sure there might be some who’d get carried away but overall, it would be just harmless heckling.
What say you? Is it time we carry the Don Bosco vs. Ateneo rivalry a notch higher?
BAD EXAMPLE. In the waning minutes of the match between Queen City United and Hijos of Samar, a Caucasian male, who stood near the bench of the visitors and a spit away from the match officials, took a cigarette and lit up.
Right in the officials bench in an official game at the Cebu City Sports Center, which has signs that says, in foot-tall letters, it is a no-smoking zone.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 07, 2013.