Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Repost From Abac Cordero of Philippine Star

Tired, sleepless Azkals 'frozen'
By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated March 14, 2011 12:00 AM Comments (5) View comments SHARE: facebook share facebook tweeter twitter yahoo buzz yahoo! buzz
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Aly Borromeo
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MANILA, Philippines - Azkals team captain Aly Borromeo checked out the pitch yesterday and couldn’t believe what he saw.

“(It) almost turned into ice,” he said on his Twitter account.

Worse, the Azkals couldn’t even get to practice and warm up because their luggage got lost somewhere in transit.

The Azkals are tired, cold and weary in Mongolia.

With only two days before the match, the Azkals are just trying to keep their confidence at a high level.

“Yesterday is over and done with,” added Borromeo from Ulan Bator, the freezing Mongolian capital where yesterday’s weather was at a low of -13 and a high of -24 degrees Celsius.

Borromeo said they’re all hoping for the best.

“Greater expectations, greater results ahead,” he said.

“Two days until game time. It’s time to focus,” said defender Anton del Rosario, who was quite surprised to find Filipino fans in Mongolia.

“What are all these Filipinos doing in Mongolia? We’ll have more fans than Mongolia,” he said.

Borromeo and the Azkals travelled almost 24 hours to get to Ulan Bator Saturday, all the way from earthquake-ravaged Gotemba in Japan via Beijing.

It was a treacherous journey out of Japan considering the damage caused by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck its northeastern coast. The Azkals were in a training facility in Gotemba, 174 kms away from Tokyo when the great earthquake struck at 2:46 p.m. Friday.

The Azkals almost got stranded in Gotemba, and their March 15 match with Mongolia almost threatened. But the Japanese Football Association made sure they safely got out of the country.

It wasn’t easy.

The Azkals had to take a bullet train to Tokyo in the morning, and were stranded at the Narita International Airport because of flight delays.

They managed to board the plane to Beijing at around 8 p.m. and caught a connecting flight to Ulan Bator past midnight.

The Azkals arrived in Ulan Bator past 4 a.m., and, all wrapped in their Columbia thermal gear, were met by the terrible winter conditions. Ulan Bator is said to be the coldest national capital in the world.

Worse, they arrived minus their luggage, which got left behind in Beijing, and was to be brought to the Palace Hotel yesterday afternoon.

“We safely arrived in Mongolia. It’s 4:30 a.m. Definitely ready for bed,” said Simon Greatwich on Twitter.

Reposted From Abac Cordero of Philippine Star

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