Four Days Of World Class Sports That Further Showcase Pinoy Sports Futility

Two things happened this week that helped put in perspective the impact of pinoys in team sport. The MLB All Star Game and the FIFA Final . Oh sure some people still chest beat about Manny winning over Lucas Martin Matthysse . My thoughts have not changed about Manny since I last devoted a blog to him here. Interesting to note that ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas elaborated on his prediction that Manny could win the fight yet lose big in the long run. You can hear the details from his mouth here. 

Your victory is only as good as your opponent. Up to you if you see Matthysse as a significant fighter. His resume is here.   I had no idea Malaysia was a venue that attracted boxers in their prime. Gone are the days of the expensive pay per views since this fight was shown on ESPN + which requires a 5$ per month subscription. Meaning if you were already a subscriber to ESPN +  to watch the other sports they show live then you got the live fight at no extra charge.  Sure Manny, way to go out on top.

I was watching the Major League Baseball All Star Games and Cleveland catcher Yan Gomes  was at bat. The graphic declared he was from Brazil. Brazil is obviously known for their historical dominance of football. Brazil’s best players reads like a list of the best players in the world: Pele, Neymar, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo . Brazil had a basketball team that beat David Robinson and the Americans for the gold in the 1987 Pan American Games.  Historically Brazil’s mens  team has three Olympic bronze medals and six FIBA World Cup medals. Not bad for a nation “obsessed” with football. Yet they have a catcher in the All Star game of the best baseball league on the planet. To help the tambays count that is three sports. In one country known for its excellence in football.

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You have no idea how much ugliness was exposed because of this reality in 1947.

Gomes is not the only All Star who is not American. According to the other countries represented in the all star game included Venezuela ( 7 players) , Puerto Rico (5), the Dominican Republic (3), Cuba (2), Curaҫao (2), Canada (1) and South Korea (1). That is almost half of the total players in the all star game not born in the US. A look at the rosters of all the major league teams at the start of the season  reveal that a total of 21 countries around the world contribute to the highest level of baseball. Including our “neighbors” Japan ( 7) , South Korea (6) and Taiwan (1) . On that list are such baseball hotbeds like Aruba, Germany and the Netherlands.

You don’t have to be good or even on the team to celebrate a victory right?

This is a new low in the pinoy effort to credit grab and jump on the bandwagon. ” Filipino-French footballer Alphonse Areola celebrates World Cup win ” or so the ABS CBN headline says.  The nation of France celebrated that win. The people who bet their money on France ( +850 as of June 28) in Las Vegas celebrated.  None of them are on the team. But then again this is the Philippines we are talking about. Insert themselves in a world event that they have no business being in.

When I read real sports journalism the word “hot” usually means sustained excellence . Pinoys though make the word applicable to a guy who did not see action.

ABS CBN has to use the “c” word celebrate because they could not use another “c” word which is CONTRIBUTE. France has three goalkeepers. Lloris started 4 games and Mandanda started 3 games. They are the only goalkeepers on the stat sheet for the tournament. The input of the Filipino culture to the ability of Alphonse Areola to make the French roster matches his save total for the tournament: zero. Unless you count the Philippines inability to create financial opportunities for its own citizens including the parents of Areola that they gave birth to him in a “better” place.

The only people who say let’s go eat Filipino (food) are cannibals.

I Will Not Congratulate Rose Fostanes

Not to be outdone GMA responds with their own ridiculous headline “2018 World Cup winners France has a hot Filipino goalkeeper”. I had no idea a player could get hot while never leaving the bench. Unless GMA was trying to get the attention of Noynoy with that adjective that is so out of context in a sports story. But hey sex sells just like the video VIva Hotmen.  ABS CBN with what ranks as their second strangest headline “FIFA World Cup has Pinoy flavor with France goalkeeper Areola “. Excuse me but when your soup has a tamarind flavor that means there is tamarind or a tamarind substitute is IN your soup. Not sure how much flavor you contribute to the World Cup not seeing the field. We should ask the cannibals about flavor.

Flavor usually means to have the characteristics of. Did I miss something and the FIFA World Cup became baduy and epal?

A good cannibal is not choosy and does not leave leftovers,  Ever since June 2013 I have been talking about the concept of leftovers. One  incarnation centered around the notion that only the Philippines devotes its male athletes to basketball since there is a local vacuum of quality team sports outside of basketball. Yet all the other countries that prioritize soccer or American football or rugby beat us easily with their leftovers. There is no athlete on another sport that you wished would improve the basketball team.

The first incarnation of the leftover theory came from the observation that the Azkals were almost entirely composed of hyphen Filipinos . Look at the Azkals roster. Lots of Fil- Danish, Fil -Ams, Fil- Spaniards, Fil – Germans. There is a reason why there is no significant player who is Fil-Fil is because we suck in soccer. Like anything else in life you will suck if you don’t care. We don’t care so much that we have to resort to hyphen Filipinos.


So when the ABS CBN article says ” As far back as 2011, Dan Palami had already asked the 6-foot-5 keeper (  Alphonse Areola ) to consider suiting up for the Azkals.” This is the leftover theory and the hyphen theory manipulated by a KSP press to try to give the pinoys some pansin to grab onto. The more talent you have the better options you have. If you were a Fil – Spaniard who had the choice to play for Spain I have no idea why you would choose the Azkals over a team  and country that has a rich tradition that likely taught you the game.

Areola was eligible to play for the Azkals but was both too talented and too calculating to exercise the  default option of pinoy hyphens. .  Better to be in a contender for a country that cares about football 24 x7 than play for a country where nobody watches football games played by their own countrymen on a regular basis. He was the rare hyphen and maybe the first hyphen who was not a leftover therefore he did not end up on the Azkals.

Maybe skill and desire have something to do with it?

Many times GRP critics besides telling us we should not write about sports also say we don’t offer solutions. Here is your solution: CARE! Care about sports. Don’t care about one sport, care about several sports. Care enough sports that you stop playing the racial victim card. Isaiah Thomas scored 53 points in an NBA playoff game and he is well under 6 feet.  Croatia became a country in 1991 and has a population of less than 5 million but they care. Pinoys only care about basketball and how is that working out??? No significant team around the world poaches Filipino basketball players even to glue their butt to the bench.

Whether you want coffee or attention then it is best to close the transaction or achieve your objective. No coffee for pinoy team sports.

Another aspect of care that Filipinos can do? Expand your scope of care beyond Araneta Coliseum, Mall of Asia and Rizal Memorial. Somebody please enlighten me what other places around the country garner any portion of the national spotlight at even an annual basis. In the US, many times during the year the games that have the nation buzzing are played in Green Bay, Wisconsin or Tuscaloosa, Alabama or  South Bend , Indiana or Chapel Hill , North Carolina. All of them are a far cry from New York , Chicago or Los Angeles. What regular sporting event is intrinsic to Cebu or Davao that resonates in Manila? If you don’t care about sports then please don’t seek attention from other nations who care about sports and achieve in sports. Coffee is for closers.

Twenty one countries have populations that usually care about soccer or NFL football more than baseball yet they all produce fine baseball players. Because they still care about baseball despite caring more about another sport. The Filipino government did not care to offer Michael Christian Martinez one cent before he was carrying the flag at the previous Winter Olympics in Sochi. Yet Edwin Lacierda cared to brag about him. Don’t credit grab just because two Filipinos who chose to leave the Philippines had sex and raised their child in France. Your culture did not care to make that child what he is today. Not growing up in your tambay culture is why he will forever be listed on the team that won the World Cup in 2018. Celebrating an achievement that happens despite of you and not because of you   is a Noynoy move.

26 Replies to “Four Days Of World Class Sports That Further Showcase Pinoy Sports Futility”

  1. Ah yes! The French-Filipino goalkeeper. I saw it first on facebook. Damn…. pinoy pride declarations are always this shameful…

  2. Alphonse Areola has played for France at all youth levels. He is also eligible to play for the Philippine senior team due to his parents being both of Filipino heritage and in 2011 was personally invited by team manager Dan Palami to consider playing for the national team.
    (Copied from Wikipedia;

    1. Hi Robert ! Thank you as always. Maybe you know this but I was speculating on his choice and factors I believe that went into his choice. I gather you live in this country and its really not important where. My main theme in this particular blog was about care. Does this country care about football? That is my question. If the answer is no then why should a talent like Areola care about playing here if his home country cares about the game, taught him the game and was obviously a contender? Thank you again.

      1. I won’t speak for Areola but if I was in his shoes, I’d choose to play for France in a heartbeat. No, it’s not about being unpatriotic. It’s simply the logical route given the plethora of opportunities France can provide compared to the Philippines that can barely fill up a domestic football league game. I never had a problem with Fil-Foreigners being the majority in our football pool. They are the best we have. It’s not their fault we aren’t able to mass produce local talent in the same skill level as they are.

        1. interxavier, my point exactly. This country does not care about even watching a ” domestic football league game. ” Even once a year. So where is the promising athlete supposed to play? Competition in anything produces the best of the best. Areola had that all his life as an athlete. Not from here. We do not care about watching football, playing football, developing football. These other countries have cared for decades if not over a century. 100 million people in this country and I brought up in my piece of the three venues that host significant sporting events in the whole country. That is not a lot. Well it is appropriate since we do not care a lot either.

      2. Hi Gogs,
        I really cant “translate” your word ‘care’. So I will answer/respond the best way I can.
        For some football/soccer fans, football is like religion (no, I am not joking). Especially in south(ern) European and south(ern) american countries.
        In the dutch language many people say: ‘voetbal is de belangrijkste bijzaak in de wereld’ (Google translation: ‘football is the most important side issue in the world’).
        Football is the most important sport in Europe. Highest attendances, highest tv audience and probably the biggest stadia (stadiums). Football started out as an elite sport (in my country) but is since many decades THE sport of and for the poor.
        There are professional football clubs (in my country; the Netherlands) that are near bankruptcy (due to mis-management) and/but are saved by the local government (financially). So in that aspect, maybe your word ‘care’ is appropriately used. Many professional football clubs (in my country) also have a community purpose in their mission statement. So maybe its worth saving, although the money stays and remains to be tax money.
        Personally, I do think that it is quite unique (in Europe) that a city government helps (saves) a professional football club. The EU forbids (financial) support from a (city) government to a professional entity.

        Why choose football?
        It usually starts as a hobby. Playing in a youth team and play competitive matches every saturday (youth till the age of 18) or sunday (adults). And then maybe it turns out that you have talent. Soon you will be picked by the scouts of bigger/professional clubs. And there is where everything starts. Isnt it great to make a profession out of something that started as a hobby?

        Does the Philippines care about football?
        It seems that basketball is (much) bigger in PH (TV audience, attendance, media coverage).

        1. Robert Haighton. I always appreciate your input. Care just means something of intense significance to you. What you and I have in common is that we both have lived elsewhere so we understand the thinking of other sporting nations. I mention care because why in the world does this country care for attention in the world of football where we have such a lame football scene domestically. I am sure you noticed that Italy did not qualify this year and they care about football so much and they have won in the past. Yet some fans believe that the Azkals are destined to be a contender. They do not care to even produce their own players or support any kind of league why care for the attention that the World Cup brings?

          Thank you for your social history about Dutch football. That is always the debate isn’t it? What is culturally significant in a community that justifies public funds when it is financially challenged. It may not even be sports because symphony orchestras are often subject to this debate.

          In many of essays here in GRP I really don’t care what people choose. What is confounding to me is they choose to seek attention for themselves in sports that they do not choose to take seriously. They only choose basketball as evidenced by the sports you see played locally and sports that can be attended. The problem is basketball is the sole participatory sport that gets all the expectations of the undying need for attention of the typical fan. It is okay to choose basketball but if you are not great in it then shut up and take your losses. That is why that recent brawl was good in the eyes of many fans. Something in their eyes in which they can claim victory. The scoreboard is invisible.

  3. How could the Filipinos play any kind of sports without the use of their “pride” & their “pikunin” attitude, without the mix of foreign blood in their body & learn how to love our beloved country, the Philippines and use DISCIPLINE while they play any kind of sports without making their complains or excuses that they’re too weak, too short & playing too dumb?

    1. I totally agree. They mention all those things and they also conveniently ignore the scoreboard. Every single loss they will never say ” We have to get better.” They will just deal with emotion and pity and intangibles . Competing is all about getting better and learning from mistakes. I have no idea what playbook the pinoys are working from. Thank you.

  4. It is easier to attach yourself to a real champion, than work out and sweat to become a champion , your self. The Filipino attitude in life is: you identify yourself with winners, and feel like a winner, yourself. It is the “Juan Tamad” attitude, that is making us remain in the bottom of life.

    Work, sweat and achieve are foreign to most Filipinos. So, some of us immigrate to foreign countries, to get out of the : crab mentality, Tambay mentality, mendicant mentality, cult of personality of corrupt political leaders, easy money mentality, and just plain stupidity.

    What I know, is, some Filipinos who went to immigrate to foreign countries, are doing well. Some even become over achievers.

    1. And that’s why there are so many Filipino bandwagon fans in the NBA. Just recently, Pinoy Laker “fans” started becoming vocal about their support for their team. Where exactly were they when the Lakers were the joke of the NBA from 2014-2018?

      1. @interxavier I tell you right now, those Pinoy Laker “fans” is on the Warriors side during that time but when the news broke out early this month that Lebron James decided to take his talents in the Lakers on the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season, surely they will go back to that team. The irony of the Pinoy sports fans, much worst than any foreigner sports fans out there. ????

        1. And speaking of Lakers, read this:

          There you have it, and before I’ll ended this conversation, I would like to make my bold predictions for Lebron James (since I’d included on this reply). IMHO, Lebron might get another ring by 1 or 2 more, an 8 or 9 NBA Finals records losses & 10 straight NBA Finals appearances (2011-2020) before he’ll retire on the NBA in 4 or 5 years from now.

        2. Pinoys really jump on the bandwagon on many things. Take film for example. How many movies do we get slightly before or slightly after they are nominated or win the Oscar ? Many of them already out for months. Here is why your Warriors fans become Lakers fans and there are no more Bulls fans left. Because the only pro league here is the PBA. The PBA because of the acceptance of epal in the pinoy culture expects you to be loyal to products. Because of the enormous amount of turnover of franchise , you rarely experience the feeling of a franchise from generation to generation. I was paying attention to the Crispa – Toyota rivalry of forty years ago. Used to even listen to the radio. Pinoys can’t really grasp the concept of home game. With the very fluid , or you can even say superficial nature of the PBA ( Manny and Daniel Padilla have suited up) no surprise pinoys don’t have loyalty to much of anything .

        3. Hi @mrericx . You quote the Ringer which I have enjoyed since they were Grantland. Anyway let’s just frame our loyalty discussion. We are only talking about pinoy culture and their attachment to NBA teams. Which of course was framed by their earlier attachment to PBA teams. What you quote talks about sports as a business. Of course loyalty is different there.

          You have a salary cap. You have to worry about expiring contracts. You have to worry about resigning stars. A good example is what happened to the Celtics ( Ainge was a player) in the early 90s. They loved those guys so much, so much cap consequence for years after they played.

          Since this original opinion piece I wrote was about the uselessness of pinoys in team sports internationally and the lack of care/ loyalty in pinoy sports let me bring it around. When somebody is a Chicago Bears fan or a Green Bay Packers fan they have been like that for many generations in their family. It does not matter if the team wins 2 games out of 16 for the year. They suffer with their team. This is in their culture. Endure the bad times and perservere and enjoy the good times.

          You and others correctly point out pinoys jump on the bandwagon of whatever NBA dynasty is reigning. It is that easy for them. They do not know about endurance and persevering like the Chicago Cubs fans of 2 years ago. I suspect that mentality of ” ayoko na sayo” creeps into the athletic mindset. Since our loyalties are so flimsy, so is our commitment to athletic endeavor. If you listen to the priest/ minister at a wedding. “For richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health. ” Pinoys Go Bulls! Go Lakers! Go Warriors !! Go Lakers!!! . There is a correlation.

    2. That is exactly it. Much of your point I hinted at in this piece by linking to a previous piece . Where a mother and a son and a shopping mall with an ice rink somehow got the first homegrown participant to the Olympics. My point is nobody cared at all for him until the curtain went up in Russia. Hats off to his family and shame on the country for treating him like he had leprosy until the Philippine flag was on display for the first time in the Winter Olympics.

  5. “Here is your solution: CARE!”

    Incidentally (and unfortunately!), your supposed solution cannot be taken seriously. It simply cannot be measured…

    If you will be granted with full absolute power and authority to have it your way, how do you intend to have your solution- CARE! materialize into something tangible and exactly measurable that can result into something relevant with the scoreboard?

    What specific measures exactly will you implement and what specific outcomes exactly will you expect that can be achieved?

    1. That is the thing. No one can legislate “care”. Not just me but just about every regular contributor to GRP will write something about Pinoys love to point out their pride. They care about that. What they don’t care about : thinking, hard work, discipline, rules , patience, strategy. They love the pansin as evidenced by all those articles latching on to Michael Phelps in the Olympics or the “hot’ goalie or Rice Terraces in Infinity War. The media knows pinoys love attention and very very few pinoys athletically will do the work necessary to get this country attention when it counts. They only care about basketball as far as team sports is concerned. I also stated that the nation has few pockets where relevant sporting events are held even on an annual basis. Which to me reflects on the care meter. Pinoys do not care like other more successful nations do so we get the results we get. Pinoys love baduy. That is evidenced in everything we do and results in nobody caring about we do. Baduy and epal is what we do care about. That you can not deny. No need to legislate that.

      1. What Gog said. To care for something is a conscious choice.

        And yet we have a culture that somehow thinks it can be legislated. This translates to the all-to-typical BAN hammer solutions: gun ban, hammer ban, price hike ban, etc

        No amount of legislations is going to change our culture. That 100++ laws signed by Duterte? That(if not most of it) will never be known to everyone, even among the brightest, most educated Filipinos.

    2. Mr. Robert Haighton, I believe, has translated above Gogs’ supposed solution “CARE!” into something realistically tangible, measurable, realizable, repeatable and achievable, if granted!

      And yet Gogs (in spite of the given hypothetical absolute power) failed to even CARE, to notice! Instead he chooses to ignore what are supposedly missing (the elements) that might help correct what he’s supposed to correct and then goes back to his usual too easy game of blaming and ranting. How’s that for a supposed sports leader with absolute power?

      Mr. Haighton’s given example, with the Dutch experience, is something wanting here in PH Sports that Gogs is not highlighting nor addressing whenever he rants on other things.

      Sports in PH is all about sponsorships! It’s like pushing a vehicle to run up to the highlands without much gasoline. PH’s limited budget for sports is clearly seen with the limited delegate athletes usually sent in foreign engagements.

      Sportscaster Dyan Castillejo, I heard, in her younger days, has dreams of competing in Wimbledon. But the lack of vital sponsorship and high expense discouraged her. That is usually the dilemma of most aspiring athletes. More so for team athletes.

      Perhaps that explains the filipinos’ natural embrace and love for the popular basketball- it’s an open playable tambay sport irregardless whether they’re pros in the big league or some amateurs in the barangay level. Basketball bring communities together (masa or elitista, rebels or soldiers…). Games proceed even without huge sponsorships or lack of proper venues for actual playing and training. But then again, excellence is still another matter.

      1. Maybe you did not read what I said in the original piece or you would have mentioned it Heer Daas. Pinoys do not care . I asked why only in 2018 that sports the nation will tune into in terms TV and or press coverage only limited to Araneta, MOA and Rizal Memorial? Why only those 3? This is a nation of a 100,000,000 people. If people watch then sponsors will follow. But people do not care beyond everything I told you so we are compensated in direct proportion to the level we care. Lousy organic soccer players. Imports who do not qualify for their real country’s national team. There is care with basketball but the results are all for see or not see. Hence my point about Brazil , the intense care for football yet you see results in basketball and baseball that pinoys are not even close to. Yet historically has a lot of poverty. Sponsorship shows up when people care.

        If you read what I wrote you would not have to bring up Dyan Castillejo. I wrote about Michael Christian Martinez during the Winter Olympics in Russia and he had a similar uphill battle and it is really amazing how much he accomplished despite ZERO care outside of his family and SM. Read it again. Pinoys want the baby without the pain of child birth and all the doctors visit during the pregnancy period. Other countries care more about sports. Sports plural. Nothing wrong with casalda tambay basketball but there is always this underlying attitude among the pinoys their quality of basketball or lack of it should be noticed by the world. That is why they clinged on to the brawl since they can’t cling on to the scoreboard.

    1. Noynoy was elected president because he was member of the lucky sperm club and the nation was grieving his mother. Nobody bothered to give him credit for anything since there was nothing. We have “popular” institutions like ABS CBN that like to give credit to a yaya of an Olympic medalist. They do it because their audience will give that yaya credit.

  6. Gogs,
    just wanna share another item/issue regarding sports and in particular football (soccer) in my country.
    Every time when the Dutch national football team participates in the European Championships (EUROxxxx) and/or World Cup, it gives a boost to the national economy. And when the national team is succesfull (progressing to quarter finals, semi-finals, final), it gives a boost to the number of new members for the local football clubs.
    This is also key within other sports when doing good on world stage competitions. The number of new members increases.
    It can also lead to that in a village, town or city, people (civilians/citizens) will start to set up (found) a new football club or another sports club.

    1. Robert Haighton , that is what I mean by care. Care enough to do well so that you inspire others to care at the grass roots. From what I understand the manager / coach of England went to great lengths to learn what buttons to push to push to get his side to care. All that money they make in their day job seemed to make them treat the World Cup as some sort of friendly since their money was not on the line.

      From the commentators I listened to , I got the impression he got his players to care about the moment much more than previous English teams. Many of them much more talented. So imagine the problems of the contenders. They already have the talent but in the World Cup itself historically they can’t get it together. Maybe you saw something different.

      What you shared proves my point. Care can be contagious. Care enough to participate, care enough to do well, care enough to support those who participate. Here in the Philippines, it so weird how there is no care at all to participate at any significant level for a sport that is not basketball. Yet when the time comes that the whole world is paying attention to the World Cup or Winter Olympics or Summer Olympics Filipino media gets so desperate to insert themselves into the story. It is that sense of entitlement to attention that bothers me. Locally known as ( KSP).

      What you said proves my point. It requires, care and participation and improvement. That just does not happen here. Yet we expect to be world beaters.

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