UFL

Azkals vs. UFL All Star: A victory for PH Football

Perhaps it can be considered as the most exciting exhibition game in the history of Philippine football. The PH Azkals fell short against the United Football League (UFL) selection with a score of 3-4 last June 5 at the University of Makati. It was a see-saw battle filled with suspense as both teams tried to outwit and outplay each other with UFL All Star scoring the final goal to break the deadlock with less than a minute left in the game. 

The venue was filled with an estimated 5,000 spectators and the match was televised live on Studio 23 earning a 1.9% ratings considering that it was on a UHF channel and it was not really advertised. Ofcourse, the crowd drawer was the Azkals but people were treated with fanstastic football game.

Many were expecting the Azkals to walk with an easy victory but the UFL All Star were more determined to win considering that the game was their opportunity to showcase the quality of football of their league. It was the UFL’s coming out party proving that there is an abundance of football talent in the Philippines outside the national team. 

Although the UFL All Star won, the real winner of the game is Philippine football. The UFL is the only club based football league in the country started by LBC Express, Inc. long before the rise of the popularity of the Azkals.  Half of the members of the Azkals are playing for a UFL team including its team capatin, Aly Borromeo who comes from the Kaya FC in the UFL.

UFL is a training ground for future Azkals and with the quality of play that was witnessed last Sunday, the future of Philippine football is very promising.

My Rule of Thumb on Azkals vs. UFL All Star: THUMBS UP.

Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/joceldeguzman

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Azkals vs. UFL All Stars: The future of PH football

 The birth of Filipino football consciousness began when our national football team more popularly known with the brand name, Azkals, pulled off an upset against Vietnam in the Suzuki Cup last year.

Philippine Football Icons

Suddenly, football is part of Philippine pop culture particularly the good looking Fil-European players of the Azkals who now enjoy the adoration or even obsession of many Filipinos whether a real fan of the sport or not.  Right now, the state of football in the country has been focused more on the players of the Azkals. It has yet to transcend into its full potential as a sport that Filipinos can really excel internationally.

All the funding by advertisers and private sectors have been placed into the national football team or Azkals but not into the actual development of the sport at the grassroots level.  The advertisers are buying in and cashing in into the brand recall of the Azkals but not to really help football.

Yet, even before the sudden surge of the popularity of Azkals, one company already put its money on Philippine football development by gathering all existing football clubs and forming a league that no one advertisers wanted to support when they were still starting.  Several years ago, LBC Express, Inc. already initiated the formation of a football alliance that gave life to United Football League or UFL.

Prime mover of UFL: LBC's Santi Araneta (in red)

Unlike its basketball counterpart, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), only the real fans of football knew about the football league. Yet, because LBC is passionate in supporting real football development, it became the real commercial backbone of UFL for several years now.

 We did not read about game results in the sports pages of the national dailies because no one in the sports media wanted to cover it. UFL had no commercial value during the first years of it birth. Yet, half of the members of the Azkals came from the UFL.

The popularity of the Azkals slightly pushed the commercial value of UFL as well to a certain degree. On June 5, 2011, the UFL and football development will say hello to the consciousness of the millions of Azkal fans. The real potential of the Azkals will be tested locally as they face the best players of UFL in what is coined as “UFL All Stars versus Azkals”.

 The football game on June 5, 2011 will be televised live on Studio 23.

 The development of football lies in the league such as UFL  where future players of the Azkals would come from eventually. Football as a sport in the country is still in its infancy stage and a league such as the UFL which needs the support of the Filipinos will help nurture a bright future where we can have a crop of Azkals generation after generation.

My Rule of Thumb on Azkals vs. UFL All Star: THUMBS UP.

Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/joceldeguzman

If you want to read my other blog entries about Philippine football click links below:

https://joceldeguzman.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/ph-azkals-the-birth-of-filipino-football-consciousness/

https://joceldeguzman.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/the-myth-of-phil-younghusband/