24 July 2012
Phl skipper unfazed by Group of Death
Azkals co-captain Chieffy Caligdong, the newly named “ambassador for sports” of Globe Telecom, is hardly alarmed by the tough group of the Philippine men’s football team in the coming AFF Suzuki Cup.
“They are again saying we’re in a Group of Death (Vietnam, Thailand, and the winner of the ). For me, it’s the same situation as the AFC Challenge Cup (last March) wherein we’re underdogs in a so-called Group of Death so it’s a challenge for us to duplicate our performance there,” Caligdong said in Filipino.
The Azkals defied the odds in the Challenge Cup in Nepal and won a milestone bronze medal, making them a dangerous opponent in the Nov. 24-Dec. 1 Suzuki bootfest in Bangkok. For the ASEAN tilt, Phl XI is looking to at least duplicate their semis stint in the previous edition.
“They are wary of us now because they know we have a strong team. It’s actually a two-way street – they are as cautious of us as we are of them. But I’m comfortable with our group, I’m confident of our chances,” he said in Filipino.
The pride of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo formally accepted his new role as Globe’s sports ambassador during a launch hosted by execs of the telco giant, led by Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu.
“Chieffy embodies the type of person Globe wants to be associated with – he’s played a sort of challenger to the big guns and won, he doesn’t overstate his capabilities, as Globe does as well in the marketplace, unlike others, and the good thing about it, truly he’s an excellent player, the best homegrown player in the country,” said Cu.
As Globe ambassador, Caligdong will assist the company in its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, such as the TEN MOVES, a campaign to raise enough resources to build 10,000 classrooms in public schools all over Phl with a main strategy of getting two million people to donate P10 per day for 10 months.
“As CSR champion, we will tap Chieffy to lead and conduct football clinics and engage a bigger group of stakeholders to help raise awareness in the hope of generating more pledges for our The Entire Nation (TEN) MOVES campaign,” said Globe CSR head Rob Nazal.
Caligdong will join hands with another Globe partner, the Green Archers Globe FC, in conducting football clinics while also “providing mentorship support” to the United Football .
This new role may play a factor in Caligdong’s career decision-making post-Suzuki Cup. The Air Force wingman’s family is set to migrate in the US and Caligdong is considering several options, including staying behind while his wife and kids are in the US.
“I have a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C. Perhaps we can make work something out,” he said while assuring his commitment to the Azkals for the rest of their campaigns this year.