Filipino movies

UFL Cup Final preview: Fitness a factor in Global-Ceres showdown

Bob Guerrero
UFL Cup Final preview: Fitness a factor in Global-Ceres showdown
Global and Ceres meet in a showdown of UFL giants with a playoff spot for a berth in the 2017 AFC Cup at stake



2016 UFL Cup Final

Global vs Ceres-La Salle

8:15 pm, Saturday, April 16

Rizal Memorial Football Stadium

Grandstand tickets P100, Bleacher is FREE

Telecast on AksyonTV on Sunday, April 17 at 9:00 pm


MANILA, Philippines – Madel Galvez is a former Taekwondo-jin, national team fencer and national team beach handball player. The Iloilo native has a classic Ilongga smile and a pleasant demeanor, but it’s her job to crack the whip.

Galvez is the conditioning coach of Global, who are trying to win their first bit of silverware since the 2015 UFL League. They could get it if they defeat Ceres on Saturday, April 16 and their conditioning could be their secret weapon. 

“In a football game, the first half is a battle of skill while the second half is team conditioning already. At least that’s how I see it,” says Galvez, who studied Exercise Science in UP Diliman and has trained athletes in karate, taekwondo, golf, and swimming. She has also done conditioning work for Gilas Pilipinas when Rajko Toroman was coach.

Fitness has been a focus ever since the preseason when the team had its camp in Baguio. Galvez certainly sees conditioning as a long-term process. She says that one foreign player arrived late in January, which meant he was unable to get as fit as the rest of the side in the beginning. She also gets frustrated when schedules change with the league, a regular occurrence. 

“When we schedule and design our program we have to ‘peak’ the players at the right time so they don’t get fatigued or get over-worked. It’s harder when scheds change” 

Galvez and Global leave no stone unturned when it comes to conditioning. 

“In our team, all players must meet international standards in terms of fitness and also they have to be cleared by the medical-rehab team for them to be part of the first eleven. We measure them by professional football standards, from the body fat percentage to different speed, power and strength tests that meet international standards.” 

She says that all of the Global players work hard to stay in shape, but the two who stand out are the pair from Mindanao, right back Jerry Barbaso and center back Amani Aguinaldo, who also starts for the Azkals.

“If I tell them to do something,” adds Galvez. “No complaints. And they really see the difference and improvement in their game.” 

Aguinaldo was an unsung hero in the Philippines’ win over DPR Korea with his game-long hustle in tidying up in the back. 

But in the UFL Cup Aguinaldo and his mates have also been in top form. They dropped only one match in the group stage, (to the Archers due to a default because of an administrative error; they had too many foreigners lined up in the team sheet), edged a game JP Voltes team 1-0 in the quarters despite being down to 10 men, and toppled Stallion 2-0 in the semifinals last weekend. 

Late goals have been a feature of Global’s wins. In that one default loss to GAU, they actually won 2-1 with an injury time goal from Arthur Kouassi. When they met Ceres in the group, Global prevailed 2-1 with a 77th minute winner from Matt Hartmann. The only goal in the quarterfinal versus JP Voltes also came in the second half. 

Late goals are a sure sign that a team is fit as a fiddle. 

They have terrific weapons too, chiefly in attack. Omid Nazari, the Swedish-Iranian-Filipino striker, is one of their best new pickups. Watch him score a terrific goal here at the 3:00 minute mark of this clip.