Aguilas, Aussies featured in American tackle football

By Nelson Beltran, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 15 2014 11:45 AM | Updated as of Aug 15 2014 07:45 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The newly formed American Tackle Football Association of the Philippines, with its ImPACT (I Am Pilipinas Aguilas Club Training Pool) Program, presents a test run this weekend, featuring a friendly match with the Australian Raiders at 1 p.m. tomorrow and a free open football clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Emperador Stadium, McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio.

In a press conference at Skippy’s Bar and Grill at the Fort Wednesday night, ATFAP officials said they’re holding the event as part of their commitment to promote the sport and build a program to prepare them for the 2016 IFAF Asian competition.

At present, ATFAP has around 300 players playing regular games. From these, the group has culled the national team called the Pilipinas Aguilas.

“Last April, the Aguilas went to Tokyo, Japan to face the long-time dominant force of Asia. The Philippines lost by a big margin, but that was to be expected from a three-month program from the Philippines against an 80-year program from Japan,” said ATFAP’s JJ Cocjin.

After their Tokyo sortie, ATFAP has invited two international teams to come over for full international friendly matches and to help train the Aguilas.

Against the Australian Raiders, in the lineup for the Aguilas are Cocjin, Wewe Alvero, Evan Baylon, Nars Custorio, JR Diangkinay, Kenneth Gallawan, Jay Laborte, Inigo Pulido, Marco Bangit, Zeb Cambronero, JP Suarez, Emile Lioanag, Redd Miguel, Amin Sajjadi, Christian San Juan, BJ Padua, Tim Espinosa, Mark Marigomen, Raul Asuncion, Castri Cabatay, Demi Juanatas, Jeremy Nadado, Marc Patiag, Yosh Sakurai, Eric Ong, Mike Garcia, Christopher San Juan, Dominador Lopez, Oliver Montano, Stephen Reyes, Jon-T Vergara, Nico Sy, Armin Purification, Gel Guibone, DJ Mello, Mike Hoese, Paul Reyes, Eric Soriano, Karl Fernandez, Leand Suguitan, Will Yeh, Joshua Gayta, Ivan Klaric, Nico Faller, Dino Teves, JR Coronica, Ace Espiritu and Marlon Villanueva.

Under the ImPACT Program, any Filipino and foreigner can register and be part of the pool and undergo training to develop their individual fundamentals and skills under the Aguilas.

The objective is to invite coaches, players and referees, both Filipinos and foreigners, who have experienced coaching, playing or officiating American football in any level. They will then voluntarily train Filipinos who want to excel in the sport.

Part of the training will be for both the Filipinos and foreigners to play side by side in either a local mix-up game or an international friendly.

“This is sharing of football knowledge first hand,” said Cocjin.

Part of the program is to form an all-foreigner team coming from the Aguilas Club members.

“This all-foreigner team will be called the “Day-U-Won” or in Filipino language “Dayuhan.” The Day-U-Won team will test these Filipinos in an annual game of real American football, testing what they have learned from their foreign teammates/mentors,” the ATFAP said.

The end goal is to form a competitive Phl team to compete in international tournaments including the IFAF Asian Continental Championship.