Cebuano Azkal changes goal

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

AFTER making it to the senior team of the Philippine National Football squad, Paolo Pascual prepares himself for a life away home.

Cebu’s football superstar has decided to withdraw his subjects from school as he is
required to focus on his training with the Azkals in Manila.

Pascual is a junior Business Administration student from the University of San Carlos and has been playing with the Azkals and observing games of Manila-based leagues since last week.


“I had no other choice. There are lots of tournaments here, and there are bigger opportunities,” said Pascual.

Joel Pascual, father of Paolo, had already talked with his son about it before the young Pascual attended the Azkals’ tryouts.

“It’s okay for now to take this crossroad in his life because I believe he will learn a lot from this,” the older Pascual said.


The father confessed that his son was actually bothered by the idea of having a failing grade even when he was already in Manila, as he wanted to have both football and academics go together.

Since the situation would not allow him to pursue school in Cebu as trainings are conducted in Manila, the young Pascual has to continue his studies in Manila while he attends the national team trainings and probably play for the Global FC in the United Football League.

“I went to the school yesterday to inquire and ask for requirements because given Paolo’s situation it may happen that he would not be based here,” said the father.

The young booter confessed that being away from his family would be the biggest sacrifice he has to make to achieve his dreams.

“I’ve been through this with him since he was a kid and I hope our story would inspire fathers to encourage their son to take up sports,” said Pascual.

The Cebuano Azkal will stay in Cebu for a week after the Bacolod match to finish his obligations and visit relatives and friends. He will be back in Manila on Feb. 17 to attend regular trainings.

Pascual will fly to Bacolod today with the team as part of the two-week training camp that will serve as preparation for the Asian Football Confederation Cup qualifiers against Mongolia next month.

Azkals’ new coach Hans Michael Weiss would have wanted a different lineup for the Bacolod match, but an official list of players were already submitted last Jan. 9, following the team that played during the Suzuki Cup.

The new coach is set to shuffle members of the team after the Mongolia game if ever the Azkals could make it to the groupings.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 27, 2011.


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