WITH girls’ futsal gaining popularity, veteran youth coach Eleazer Toledo hopes to start a girls’ futsal program in the University of Southern Philippines Foundation, a potential sleeping giant when it comes to high school sports.
So far, he’s making the right steps.
Fielding a team of mostly field players and with barely enough practice sessions under their belt, the USPF Girls 14 team showed they have the hearts of champions as they fought back against Warshockz, 3-2, to win the Girls 14 division of the Allianz National Youth Futsal tournament on the University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus field.
“Most of them are used to playing in the field and we had only two practice sessions for this,” said Toledo, who also handles the college team of USPF. “However, most of the girls have played futsal before, during scrimmages.”
After finishing in the top two of the six-team field, USPF had to fight back twice against a game Warshockz team. Warshockz got past keeper Roygen Tingcan but Kyza Colina quickly equalized. warshockz again took the lead but Colina had an answer and then some, scoring the go-ahead goal for the come-from-behind win.
USPF, which also fielded a team in the Girls 16 division during the first day, earned the right to represent Cebu in the regional finals in Bacolod on May 26 and 27 and Toledo said he will make sure the girls will have ample preparation.
The team--which also has Lyka Cueva, Allison Baloria, Freia Colina, Mish Castañares, Ceina Salazar and Jelena Soon--will be taking on the rest of the champion teams in the Visayas for the right to advance to the nationals.
Toledo is hoping the girls success can jumpstart a girls futsal program in USPF, now that the sport is part of the calendar of events of the Palarong Pambansa.
Last April, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu became just the second team to win the girls futsal gold in the Palarong Pambansa.
On the other hand, Don Bosco Technology Center added the Boys 14 crown after beating USPF, 4-2, in the finals. The Abellana National School finished third after beating DBTC-Magone, 4-2. (ML)