THE Philippines is still in suspended awe over the women’s national football team after beating powerhouse Thailand in the finals of the Asian Football Federation Women’s Championship.
For starters, The AFF Women’s Championship is an international women’s football tournament organized by the ASEAN Football Federation and hosted by our country.
And this is the first time the Philippines won the crown in the tournament against Thailand, 3-0, after dethroning Vietnam in the semis, 4-0.
More than 8,000 soccer fans of this basketball-crazy country came to witness how the Filipinas wrote ‘herstory’ after decades of obscurity.
The province of Benguet must be in high heavens, after Gov. Melchor Diclas posted a congratulatory message on his Facebook page to the team, particularly to Jaclyn Katrina Demis Sawicki.
According to the post, Sawicki’s mother hails from Benguet.
Sawicki’s success in the national women’s football team might have further opened opportunities for athletes seeking to make a name for themselves in the international arena.
Before Sawicki, many footballers from Benguet had already made a name for themselves on the national scene.
Audie Bantas Menzi, who is a defender at Kaya FC, played in three matches in the AFC Asian Cup, the primary association football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of the members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Coach Frael Aquino, who is now with Benguet State University, also paved the way for Benguet booters who either got scholarships in big universities in Manila or were picked to play in some leagues because of his grassroots program.
Coaches Aris Bocalan and Gatan Dalang, who hold football clinics and tournaments every now and then are also proud products of Benguet’s football. Bocalan and Dalang played for Ateneo during their college years and won several championships in the UAAP.
Benguet may not be the powerhouse when it comes to football, but with these names, there is only hope that sooner than later, the number sport across the globe should get attention.