Basketball? Not in 2 Iloilo towns

first_imgSOCCER COUNTRY Children playing football is a common sight at the town plaza of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo province, where residents stay up late to watch the World Cup. —NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.In the Iloilo towns of Barotac Nuevo and Santa Barbara, shrieks and cheers in houses in the middle of the night in recent weeks were not a cause of alarm for residents.Those were just the sound of football fans cheering for their teams in this year’s World Cup being held in Russia, a spectacle rare in basketball-crazy Philippines.ADVERTISEMENT Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town They learned to play football, which is now Barotac Nuevo’s passion, at Colegio de San Agustin (now University of San Agustin) in Iloilo City.Sumbillo said officials planned to put up a giant screen at the town plaza of Santa Barbara to offer free viewing of World Cup games starting on June 30, when the Round of 16 starts, until July 15, the day of the finals.Emannuel Salvador Braganza, PFA director and a native of Barotac Nuevo, said games were being shown on a giant screen at Barotac Nuevo’s town plaza at least three times a week by a local television cable provider.“We’re hoping to have it daily and all the games starting in the quarterfinal round,” he told the Inquirer.Talk of the townHe said the games were the talk of the town in coffee shops, offices and schools.“Many students want to also stay up late and also watch the games but they have classes the next day,” said Braganza, who also coaches football teams.Former national team player Ricardo Venus, PFA secretary general, said the World Cup this year was more exciting because matches had become unpredictable with upsets becoming common.“Unlike previous World Cups, there is no clear winner or strong contender and those that were perceived as underdogs have beaten the favored teams so it’s more exciting,” Venus said.In Iloilo City, sports bars were also showing live telecasts of the matches. Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan Brazil advances to round of 16 at World Cup, tops Serbia 2-0 Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees “We are still very much a basketball country, but the popularity of football is growing,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewcenter_img “Many residents stay up late or wake up early to watch the games on television,” said Roceller “Boyet” Sumbillo, a native of Santa Barbara and president of Panay Football Association (PFA).“It’s more exciting if the games are watched in groups over drinks or arroz caldo (chicken rice porridge),” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownInconvenient, but…Due to time zone difference, games in the quadrennial football competition are being aired live on television nightly at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. when most people are  either getting ready for sleep or are already asleep. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown The inconvenience won’t stop people of the two towns and some Ilonggo football fans from keeping tabs of the games and their favorite teams.Barotac Nuevo and Santa Barbara have produced some of the country’s best football players now in the national team and clubs.The national team used to have mostly Ilonggo players until foreigners with Filipino lineage came in and formed the team Azkals.The sport was first introduced to Barotac Nuevo, considered the football capital of the Philippines, in the 1920s by the Monfort brothers, members of a prominent Ilonggo family.Town’s passionADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball PLAY LIST 05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View commentslast_img read more