Ready for a Big Win? 8 Reasons Azkals Will Win the Long Teng Cup

Ready for the 2011 Long Teng Cup? It’s a big moment in Philippine Football. The Azkals are coming off a big first in World Cup qualifying, where they advanced to the second qualifying round for the first time in the history of Philippine football with Pinoys everywhere cheered them on. They’ve been training intensively for this one. The last time out they finished third, and a better finish is expected this time around. The implications of a Long Teng Cup win are tantalizing. Here’s why we believe they’ll get it:

1. The Azkals are pitted against teams of near equal ranking, unlike the World Cup qualifying games. Since this summer, when the team made its big first in World Cup qualifying play, the team has moved up the international rankings, and they’re looking to move forward. From a ranking’s standpoint, the cup is a pretty even affair, with three contenders ranked within 16 places of one another. Hong Kong will be the Azkals' toughest challenge followed by Chinese Taipei.

2. The top veteran players are available for the tournament, including Borromeo, Caligdong, and Araneta. Araneta was the top scorer at the tournament last year, and is a significant weapon in the Azkal’s arsenal. They will be beefed up with new addition Angel Guirado, a regular during the AFC Challenge Cup and World Cup qualifying campaigns. He brings an added dimension to the Azkals' quality of play and offense.

3. The team is doing an increasingly better job on defense. James Younghusband has been tested on central defense by Coach Weiss and has brought added pace and passing ability to the defense. His versatility will be an asset for the team and will provide cover for the Europe based defensive players who can't make it to this tournament.

4. Their growing experience will start to pay off. Their tough defeat by Kuwait was by a highly ranked team but they gained a great deal of experience and gelled as a team.

5. Dan Palami and Michael Weiss provide solid leadership and sound strategy for advancing the team in the world cup rankings. They understand the importance of the Long Teng Cup and will be fielding the best possible team.

6. The team undeniably has great heart. Their recent run in the World Cup qualifiers showed Filipinos that they’re going to go out and play hard, no matter what. While it may not be enough at times against clearly superior opponents, but it will pay big dividends against more evenly matched opponents.

7. The team knows it can win this cup. The Azkals are a team with heart – that much is clear. They are also on a bit of a run. And last but not least, they know they have a real opportunity to win this cup. This should drive and motivate their play and energy enough to drive them to victory.

8. In addition to all of the above factors going in their favour, their recent wins in the I Can Serve Foundation Football Invitational should set a great tone, particularly the solid defeat of Kaya Cignal FC. Coming off a win is a great way to go into an important tournament.

The Azkal’s still face a lot of challenges in their development. Still ranked at 166, their hardly an odds on favourite in most international matches and tournaments. But the Long Teng Cup is a bit different. The challengers are serious, but not out of the Azkal’s league. They have a great chance to win. Go Pilipinas!

2011 Moira G Gallaga©

October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month

To all the special girls in my life

October  is Breast Cancer Awareness Month……..

Give this heart to everyone you don't want to
lose in '2011. 

'Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.'

A sharp tongue can cut your own throat. 

If you want your dreams to come true, you mustn't oversleep.
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important. 

The best vitamin for making friends...... B1.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge.. 

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

You lie the loudest when you lie to yourself.

If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished. 

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Ideas won't work unless ' You' do.

Your mind is like a parachute...it functions only when open.

The 10 commandments are not a multiple choice.

The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime! 

It is never too late to become what you might have been.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.. So love
the people who treat you right.. Forget about the
ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If
it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life
would be easy, they just promised it would be
worth it. 

Friends are like balloons;
once you let them go, you might not get them
back. Sometimes we get so busy with our own
lives and problems that we may not even notice
that we've let them fly away. Sometimes we are so
caught up in who's right and who's wrong that we
forget what's right and wrong.. Sometimes we just
don't realize what real friendship means until it
is too late. I don't want to let that happen so
I'm going to tie you to my heart so I never lose you. 

Send this to all your friends. Even send it to your
balloons that you think have flown away forever. 

Thank you for being in my life!!!

               Thank you for this one Mom. Moira