Saturday football with the Younghusbands

Tricia Robredo on Jul 06, 2015 01:04 PM
Saturday football with the Younghusbands
"When one of my bosses told me I was going to play a little of the sport for my article, I didnít think he was serious. When the usherette pointed me to the changing rooms, it dawned on me that he was."

adidas launched their new football boots, the X15s and the ACE15s, in the Philippines last July 4, Saturday at the Sparta Sports and Recreational Training Arena in Mandaluyong City. This event was graced by brand ambassadors Phil and James Younghusband, and other members of the Philippine Azkals. Then there in a corner stood a Bulldog (or rather a former courtside reporter of the Bulldogs), Tricia Robredo. #SameAnimalDifferentBeast #NotReally

After retiring the microphone for a pen and a pad, I started exploring leagues other than the UAAP and sports other than basketball and volleyball. For one of my first exposures to football, ABS-CBN Digital sent me to cover that product launch last Saturday.

Coming to the venue, I expected to receive a press kit. Instead, I was given a duffel bag with football apparel and a pair of those beautiful neon green X15s.

When one of my bosses told me I was going to play a little of the sport for my article, I didn’t think he was serious. When the usherette pointed me to the changing rooms, it dawned on me that he was.

Back in high school, I joined football teams that competed in the intramurals. So as far as familiarity is concerned, I wasn’t entirely clueless. But I rarely saw action and I was always benched for a reason. I wish I told someone about it before signing up for the coverage.

Nevertheless, there was no turning back as the listed guests (most of them were legit football players, guys. As in high school, college and semi-professional star level of legit-ness) for the trial run were already divided into two groups: Phil’s and James’. Those who carried the X15s joined the former, while the guys who were given the ACE15s were sent to the latter.

There were two sets of obstacle courses and each was designed specifically for a respective group to accomplish. Because the shoes represented “chaos” and “control”, I guess they set up simulations that would test how the boots would fare in such circumstances.

I couldn’t elaborate on the challenge for the ACE15 group but they were asked to kick the balls into the tanks, which served as makeshift goals. The X15 cluster on the other hand, supposedly carrying chaos, had more drills.

We started with running a short distance, past tires turning left and right. This was relatively manageable.


But the next one was a test of skill – we had to dribble the ball around orange cones. This may be pretty easy and basic for the athletes, but Tricia dreaded it very much.

I was introduced to Ateneo booter Mikko Mabanag in the event and I asked him for tips on how to do it properly. When it was my turn, I failed to control the ball and kept running after it anyway.

But I was halfway through! Go lang ng go!

The third item on the list was jumping over these small hurdles. Having failed the task prior to this, I wanted to do a little better on this one. But I was also afraid of tripping over because someone who went before me actually did. Thankfully, I was able to keep my balance!

And now for the grand finale. Of course football won’t be complete without scoring goals, right? But to add a little twist to it, they stacked nine huge black boxes in front of the net and we had to knock down as many as we could. I assume this tried to measure how well we could target the ball and how strong our kicks are. Sadly, I failed both.  

That was probably the longest fifty seconds of my sports life so far. I tried to carry the ABS-CBN Digital flag with pride but the struggle was just very real. Hay, I apologize.


Here’s an amateurish video of Phil to make up for it. Enjoy!

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