Sports Unlimited: Football fever hits Pinoy kids

By Jasmine Perez, Mutimedia Producer, Sports Unlimited

Posted at Sep 12 2012 07:04 PM | Updated as of Sep 13 2012 03:07 AM

The past two years have witnessed football's exponential growth in the Philippines--from being just a school sport to a national phenomenon --through the help of the Azkals.

Now, the world's number one sport has finally turned into one of Filipino children and teenagers' favorite pastimes.

One of the biggest and most-awaited football tournaments in the country is the Kia Cup, with over 150 teams kicking off the annual two-day football showdown.

This year’s edition was not just about hitting the goals but also about making a difference, with all the proceeds of this tourney benefiting our Team Philippines' dream to compete in the Homeless World Cup next month in Mexico City.

The Azkals were not only present to witness the competition. They also joined to help raise funds for the Homeless World Cup Team. Some of them gave tips to aspiring Azkals, while some brought their own shoes and special jerseys for auction.

For national football team’s newest couple, Heather Cooke and Jason de Jong, this is the perfect time to support football as a duo before their upcoming friendlies abroad.
Fans were more than happy to finally meet their idols and of course, join the bidding for their football icons' memorabilia.

Football enthusiasts from different ages, schools, and teams packed the field for back-to-back football showdowns.

Participants were not the only ones who showed up full force in the Kia Cup 2012--families and friends also packed the stands to cheer their the players on.

Sports Unlimited hosts Marc Nelson and Dyan Castillejo showed support for Matthew and his team, the Makati Football Club.

Matthew's teammate, Sandro Reyes, stunned everyone with his moves. He may only be nine years old but Sandro is eager to kickstart his football dreams, having been accepted at FCB Escola, Spain's football school for kids managed by the famous professional football club FC Barcelona.

The Kia Cup was the last tournament that Sandro played with his team before flying out of the country to start his training in Spain this coming September 16.

Sandro, Matt and the rest of their squad played all day, from morning until afternoon. These kids were all tired but having won six games already, they did not back down. By the time the finals started, rain started pouring. Matt’s team prevailed in the 10-under mixed group category title.

The kids at the Kia Cup learned what football was all about--rain or shine, win or lose, football means fun, excitement, team spirit and serving a greater purpose outside the pitch.
Aired on: September 8, 2012