In their trademark red jerseys, PLDT Football Club (FC) triumphed over Nestlé and Petron during the semi-finals game last July 8 in Taguig City. PLDT won 1-0 against Nestlé and 2-0 against Petron – with Mark Aguas and Nelly Quirob scoring the goals, respectively.
PLDT FC also prevailed over Metrobank and Factset in two back-to-back games last July 1. The team won 3-0 against Factset. In the match against Metrobank, which PLDT FC Team Captain Norman Azarcon described as “more challenging”, it was Quirob’s goal during the final minutes of the match that brought the team to victory.
PLDT triumphs over Metrobank during the July 1 matches. They are to face Metrobank once again during the Finals on July 29.
“We went down 1-0 in the second half but through our teammate, Nelly Quirob, we equalized [the score] with less than [five minutes] remaining,” Azarcon said. Since the Corporate Football League stipulates that all goals scored by female players count for two points each, Quirob’s goal won them the match.
“It was a dream performance,” Azarcon added.
The consecutive wins came after two games in which PLDT FC lost against Petron and RCBC. Aside from last weekend’s victory, the club had also won two other games.
The road leading up to the team’s victory was certainly neither smooth nor easy.
Prior to last week’s matches, PLDT FC had been preparing for a period of three months. Training sessions were held on a weekly basis with each member focused on their preparations. Aside from this, the club had also been recruiting PLDT employees who were new to the sport.
The recruitment was triggered by a considerable change in the size of the team in the past year, due to members who had been reassigned abroad, who had left the Company, or who were no longer able to play. Because some members were still unfamiliar with football, one challenge faced by the club was how the team would be able to play in harmony with one another.
“After we brought a new team together, we had to learn to play with each other,” Azarcon said. He further explained that although the team was reinvigorated by the addition of new players, the more experienced members were also challenged.
Truly, the club’s efforts led to a triumphant result. After first losing in two games, PLDT FC won six games in a row, including the two matches on July 8.
The PLDT Football Club
Azarcon said there is “no secret ingredient” that the team uses to win. Rather, their only strategies were playing to their strengths, communication, and trust among the members, as well as believing in the team’s capability to win. Furthermore, Azarcon described the team’s wins were anchored on their winning mindset — shaped by sheer determination, optimism, and teamwork.
“We aren’t the most talented team in the tournament — we don’t win by large goal differences. In fact, our games are always very gritty and go down to the wire,” Azarcon said. “But we come into every game with oneness and a desire to win.”
According to Azarcon, the award-winning team’s motivation to win each match is to carry on a legacy. “This has always been a very good team — a championship-winning team with the laurels to back it up. Our motivation is to continue that history of winning.”
In addition, seeing rookie members of the team stepping up to the plate, coming in and showing no fear, also pushes the team to win each game.
Bright future ahead
Even after stellar performances, PLDT FC’s plans and goals are as humble as ever. Now, they simply plan to keep on playing and training, particularly because half of the team is currently composed of rookie players.
“One way we will definitely improve is to keep playing and keep training together,” Azarcon said. “[We plan to] keep getting to know each other on the field, [and] get our match fitness and confidence up as much as possible before the MVP Olympics next year.”
With the mindset and attitude the team displays, there is no doubt that PLDT FC’s stars will continue to shine even brighter in the future. CC: