MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine women’s team Malditas and futsal squad Muzang gear up for two major tournaments, hopeful of sustaining Phl football’s gains in the last few tournaments.
The Malditas will carry the country’s colors in the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar in December while the Muzang will vie in the Asean Football Federation Futsal Championship from Oct. 19-27 in Bangkok.
Malditas coach Ernie Nierras will assemble Phl’s strongest ever women’s side for the SEAG mission, bringing back the core of the group that defeated Iran in the AFC Asian Women’s Cup qualifiers and adding new 5-foot-10 recruit from Stanford.
“I think the POC has put it already, if you’re not medal contender, we’re not sending you so sending us to the SEA Games tells us they have faith in us,” said Nierras during yesterday’s launch of Globe Telecom’s sports advocacy program, Globe Sports.
“Expectations are high, and we don’t mind the challenge, we live for that challenge. We have one specific color in mind and hopefully we’ll bring that home when we come back in December,” he added.
Muzang coach Red Avelino admitted his wards will have their hands full in the AFF meet, especially bracketed with powerhouse rivals Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei in Group A.
“We’re on a rebuilding process now. Our expectations are managed; we know where we stand, we know the teams we’re going up against but we’ll just give our best and we’ll fight our hearts out,” said Avelino.
The Muzang and Malditas’ respective campaigns got a big boost with partnership with Globe. The Globe Sports advocacy program, according to Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu and VP for digital media Glenn Estrella, is aimed at providing support for Filipino athletes with world-class potential and to develop sports awareness in various Globe CSR communities in a bid to discover grassroots talents.
“Through this advocacy, we are effectively strengthening sports development in the country. Football is just the first step because our sports advocacy is not a mere sponsorship channel but it’s actually a long-term partnership to develop sports programs for our Globe CSR communities,” said Cu.
For his part, Estrella said: “We’re here to help players play and get (international) exposure. We believe that if they don’t play, they won’t learn; if they don’t compete with the best, then they will never be the best later on.”
The Malditas and the Muzang, along with fellow Globe-backed Green Archers United and La Salle Greehills, will join the telecom company in its “Globe Football Para sa Bayan” CSR advocacy.