SINGAPORE—With the country’s sporting pride wounded due to the manner its biggest hero lost against his fiercest rival, the Philippine football team vowed to embrace the role of a saving grace in what has been considered as one of the toughest weeks for PH sports.
The Azkals feel a sense of urgency in their task of winning against Singapore in their AFF Suzuki Cup semifinal clash Wednesday night with the country reeling from the sixth-round knockout suffered by boxing hero Manny Pacquiao to Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez.
“I would be lying if I said that there isn’t a little more pressure because Manny’s defeat was a shock to us all,” said defender Rob Gier.
“We need to try to give the Philippines something to shout about and win this for Manny. There is an extra responsibility on our shoulders. It’s something we want to embrace and use as a positive energy.”
Azkals manager Dan Palami said he had been swamped by messages of encouragement for the squad just after Pacquiao’s stunning defeat.
“We always think about how much of a lift it would be to Philippine sports if we get to the championship,” said Palami.