Women's futsal: 'Late bloomer' Ivy Tapiz shines
Ivy Tapiz

Women's futsal: 'Late bloomer' Ivy Tapiz shines

Rick Olivares (Philstar.com) - January 14, 2021 - 12:15pm

MANILA, Philippines — Most parents would tell their kids to eschew sports and concentrate on their studies.

Ivy Paster Tapiz’ parents — Alvin and Milda — do believe that academics is important. But they also believe that participation in sports is just as crucial to their children’s development.

As a youngster — well, she is still young at 18 years of age — Ivy played volleyball, softball and football. She describes Dipolog as volleyball country. After helping her school win a title, she was pulled away to play futsal because there weren’t enough players to form a team.

Ivy took to the game like a fish in water. In fact, during a local tournament sponsored by international insurance provider Allianz where three young Filipina lasses would be selected to train in Munich, Germany, Ivy was easily the best player from Mindanao as she led her Dipolog futsal team all the way to 2nd place at the National Finals of the Allianz National Futsal Invitational.

“Hindi ako nag-expect para hindi ako ma-disappoint,” she reckoned. 

When her friends said they saw her name in the final list, Tapiz didn’t believe them at all. “Mga chismosa kayo,” she dismissed them with a laugh. Except her teammates were insistent.

When her name was called out... “Ivy Paster” … she still did not believe.

“Baka meron lang ako kapangalan.”

When the barker repeated the name — this time in full — “Ivy Paster Tapiz from Dipolog," she had to fight off the tears. “Nakakahiya umiyak. Napakadaming tao.”

The experience in Germany was exhilarating despite the young girls’ naivety.

“Mas worried pa ako kung meron silang rice doon sa Germany,” she reasoned. “Matakaw kasi ako. Hindi ko ma-imagine kumain na walang rice.”

She did, of course, learn to eat the local fare.

But when the training started, she was so appreciative of the opportunity. More so that they all met international football great, Oliver Khan, who starred for Bayern Munich and Germany where he was a part of the nation’s UEFA European Championship team of 1996.

“Sobrang bait niya at approachable,” said Tapiz of the footballing great.

Tapiz took to the game at only 11 years of age. Because of her sporty nature, she quickly adapted from 11-a-side football to the five in futsal.

Like her daughter, Milda Tapiz was in disbelief. 

When her daughter was invited to join the training pool for a women’s futsal national team a the Inspire Raya Senior High School for Sports, the mother thought it was — in their own words — “a scam.”

But Ivy pointed out that coach Kevin Goco was there; one of the point persons for the futsal program under the auspices of the Moran Foundation, the MVP Sports Foundation, and the Philippine Football Federation.

The team, now handled by Dutch futsal legend Vic Hermans, is just awaiting approval from the Department of Education for them to train at the Inspire Academy in Calamba, Laguna. 

It is an opportunity Ivy relishes.

“Sabi ko sa mama ko na nagbunga yung pag-tiyaga ko sa fustal. Hindi ko akalain na lahat to ma-experience ko. Sobrang grateful ako sa sport ng futsal.”

And the thing is… the best is yet to come from Ivy Paster Tapiz.

Even if she still cannot stop pinching herself in disbelief.

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