Cebuanas relish chance at PH team

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Sunday, May 11, 2014


Alvie Marie Yabo
CNU Comm Intern

THEY are not just a typical bunch of teenage girls, they are proud Cebuana booters who will be kicking their way to the national team, ready to get down and dirty.
Five Cebuanas are fighting for a place in the Philippine team for the upcoming Asian Football Confederation U14 Regional Championship.

Itsuko Bacatan, Samantha Claire Toledo, Alexandrea Gumilao, Arantxa Mari Trebol and Jan Reese Jumawan were among the booters who were spotted by the national team coaches during the Philippine Football Federation Festival of Football in San Carlos City.

They will be joining the training pool together with the other players from around the country who are also vying for a spot in the Philippine team.

“This is such a great achievement for us,” said Trebol, who has been a part of the PH team since 2012.

“Nervous sad ig-abot didto kay tinaktakay baya na.” Gumilao added.

Striving for this spot spelled sacrifices for them.

“Being away from the family for almost a month was really hard,” Trebol said of her experience when she first joined the training pool.

Her mother, Cheryl Trebol, also recalled those times when her daughter would call her crying because she misses home. Bacatan added she learned discipline and perseverance in this sport.

Toledo also added that it was her family, her coaches and her love for the sport that kept her going.

“We gave her the free will to do what she wanted and we hope that she reaches her dreams.” Samantha’s mother, Doris Toledo said in an interview.

However, Gumilao said that she had trouble in balancing her academics and playing football. All the girls agreed that they only had time to study during vacant time but in spite of this, her mother, Eve Gumilao said she had already expected this to happen so she had her child undergo tutorials to catch up.

“Support na lang ta,” Eve said.

Football has been the life of these teenage girls. They started to play at a very young age. Trebol and Toledo both realized their love of the sport at the age of five; Gumilao started playing at two and Bacatan learned the game at nine.

“What men can do, girls can also do, girl power ba,” Bacatan said.

The Philippines ranked fourth among the six countries who fought for the title in last year’s tournament and received the Fair Play Award.

The group all agreed that they really feel the pressure now. “Pressured kay daghang expectations,” says Trebol. “We would do our best,” Gumilao assured. “Kung 100 percent ilang ihatag, kinahanglan tupungan sad na namo,” Toledo added.

The four girls left for Manila last Saturday to join the training pool in Manila and will be joined by Jumawan, who played softball for Central Visayas in the Palarong Pambansa.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 12, 2014.

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