MANILA, Philippines -- Actress Angel Locsin knew something was brewing when she received a surprise phone call from boyfriend Phil Younghusband last Sunday.
But by that time, Locsin has already heard about the news that Younghusband and his brother James have been dropped from the Azkals' Peace Cup roster.
"Kahapon (Sunday) kasi habang naglalaro si Phil for Meralco, usually kapag naglalaro 'yon di niya hawak ang telepono niya kasi naka-concentrate siya. Nagulat ako tumawag sa akin habang may game. Sabi ko, 'Bakit anong problema?' Sabi niya, 'Wala, gusto lang kita makausap,'" Locsin told reporters during the press launch of he newest endorsement AVON's Slip Into on Monday.
"Eh nabalitaan ko na 'yung nangyari so alam ko na kung paano kakausapin. Siguro nag-worry," she said.
"Ayaw ko talaga magsalita kasi labas talaga ako sa problema, at ayaw ko din sabihin na nakikisawsaw ako. Pero tingin ko kasi natanggalan ng pagkatao 'yung dalawa. Kasi kilala ko 'yung dalawa, especially si Phil na parang 'yun (football) talaga 'yung buhay niya," she added.
But Locsin said the Younghusbands will respect the decision of the Philippine national men's football team.
"Si Phil naman pagkausap ko parang relax naman siya at irerespeto naman niya 'yung desisyon. Hindi naman niya ipipilit ang sarili niya kapag tingin naman niya na hindi siya kailangan," she said.
"Siguro nagkataon lang na ipit din siya kasi may kontrata din siya sa iba at mayroon din siyang kapatid na binubuhay, so ano ang gagawin niya?"
Asked for the advise she gave her boyfriend, Locsin replied: "Ano lang siguro better kung kausapin mo 'yung team mo, si coach kung ano ba talaga ang nangyari at bakit nangyari 'yon. Kasi parang sinabihan yata siya ng coach na huwag nang maglaro for Azkals that day tapos biglang the next day wala na siya sa team. So ako sana para maayos lang kung anuman 'yon. Pero kung ano ang maging desisyon, irerespeto naman 'yon."
In a statement, the Azkals management and coaching staff explained that their decision was related to the team's preparations for the 2012 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup in November.
"We expect our players to work harder than ever this year ...(but) not everyone in the team could assure us of this," the Philippine Football Federation statement said.
"A few have already signified their unavailability for some crucial activities leading up to the tournament," it added.
No players were mentioned, but the Azkals management said that they understand "that family obligations and club/work commitments sometimes take precedence."
The Younghusband brothers both play for the Loyola Meralco Sparks in the United Football League.