Friday, April 25, 2014

Pilipinas Aguilas Send Off Presscon: Off to Face Japan to Qualify for 2015 IFAF World Championship

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Due to the country's humid and hot weather, no one ever thought that the physically demanding and brutal game of American football will be introduced to the Philippines. It was way back April 2010 when architect Bernardo "Dodi" Palma II tackled the unimaginable by founding the very first American football league in the country called ArenaBall Philippines (ABP).

This was followed by the founding of the American Tackle Football Association of the Philippines (ATFAP), the governing body of American and flag football and beach flag football in the Philippines which was headed by Dodi with co-founders  Apollo Angco and Jon Yamsuan.

Getting memberships from the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) ultimately led to the formation of the Pilipinas Aguilas - the very first tackle football Philippine team who are ready and proud to carry the Philippine flag to new heights.

The Pilipinas Aguilas will have a challenging task ahead on April 26, 2014 as they face Japan - the number 1 ranked country in Asia - in a qualifying match for the 2015 IFAF World Championship in Sweden. They will soon be flying off to Tokyo against a team that is backed by 80 years of tackle football program. But who's afraid? When you go up against Filipinos, you're facing the real challenge!

The team is being managed by Dodi Palma and coached by Will Yeh.

Presscon Panelists included Will Yeh, JP Suarez, Dodi Palma, Paul Reyes
At the send-off dinner and press conference held at the Metrowalk Pasig main courtyard, a few questions were raised:

Question: Why only a few ManileƱos were given call-ups?
Will Yeh: The majority of non-Metro Manila players were more fitting for the team because of their physicality.

Question: Do you think the team will be getting the same hype Gilas Pilipinas, the Azkals, and the Volcanoes are getting?
Paul Reyes: The Filipinos can be successful in American football and that the Pilipinas Aguilas will be received well as the other national teams.

Question: What are your chances of beating Japan?
Paul Reyes: I am aware of the differences of the two countries in which the Japanese people have been in the sport for eight decades while the Philippines is relatively new to the game. However, as long as the team plays together, winning against Japan is possible.

Question: Did you get some support or funding from the government?
Dodi Palma: We got some travel perks.

Question: What is the reward for winning the match against Japan:
Dodi Palma: It means more training and matches for the team.

You will surely notice Karl Fernandez, playing as Half-back, as the shortest guy that night

I was surprised learning I was taller than Karl - truly inspiring that small guys like us do have a chance to become great!

Dodi Palma mentioned that the players and the staff members themselves paid for their tickets to Tokyo which really tells something about their determination to make this match against Japan possible.

It was also mentioned that foreign American football teams will come over to the Philippines to play them next year as they begin their buildup for the 2019 IFAF World Championship. Friendlies against Asian neighbors will also be set the year later.

Let us all pray for the continuing success of the Pilipinas Aguilas!

You can fined more details about the Aguilas on their official FB page -

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