A dream realized

A few years ago, when Ugur Tasci launched his dream which was the Dynamic Herb Cebu Football Club, I got to talk to him and he shared his dream, to bring a professional game in Cebu for the fans.

It was just a simple statement, but for football fans in Cebu, it was one loaded with history.

HOMEWARD BOUND. The Cebu Whale Sharks head home on top of the PFL after four straight wins. They will play four straight weekends at the Dynamic Herb Football Stadium.

You see, eight years before that, there was Cebu Queen City United. A Cebu-based team with Cebuano players that competed in the United Football League, the Philippines’ de facto top flight. Owned by Cebu construction magnate Ricky Dakay, who was then the Cebu Football Association head, Queen City played in Division 2 in the UFL, with dreams of making it to Division 1. The whole team flew to Manila for their games every weekend and you can just imagine how expensive it was. The team asked for a home game, even offering to take care of the plane fare of the visiting team. Somehow, it wasn’t granted and you couldn’t blame team management for Cebu’s short-lived presence in the Philippines top flight.

Some six years later, Global Cebu FC came into the picture. It was a team representing Cebu, technically, but it wasn’t Cebu’s team. Though the fans came in and drove for its home games, I had to stop myself from pointing out the irony, the home team was staying in a hotel for its home games.

But the fans knew, that’s why during a game against Kaya FC, the visiting team’s goalkeeper Ref Cuaresma, who spent time in Cebu, got louder cheers.

However, Dynamic Cebu is different. This is really our home team. This one is based in Cebu and has a few homegrown talents in its squad. This team isn’t in the PFL just to represent Cebu, it’s there to win it all for Cebu.

And after four straight wins, the latest, a 6-2 rout of Mendiola, Cebu is on top with 17 points, two ahead of idle Kaya FC. And after four straight wins, it will have four games each weekend in October at home.

Yes, four. That’s four more than what Queen City didn’t get from the UFL. And as a treat for Cebu fans, it’s dangerous Kaya on Oct. 9, UCFC on Oct. 15, the Stallions on Oct. 23, and finally, the ADT on Oct. 29. For someone who now lives three hours away from the city, each home game is a must-see and has its own subplots.

Who doesn’t want to see Cebu against league favorites Kaya, UCFC and the vocal Ernie Nierras’ Stallions. Coach Ernie coming over on the 23rd is worth the visit, the three-hour trip. And of course, there’s the game against the Stephan Schrock-led ADT, which I think is a perfect way to end Cebu’s run of home games. Shrock, to those who are not familiar, traces his roots to Badian through his mother. Badian is the next town from where I am based now.

Schrocky’s mom wished she’d see the former Azkal captain don Cebu’s colors before he retires. That’s not possible but one way Schrock can honor his mom’s wishes is to give Cebu fans a game for the ages. I’m not talking about a win by Cebu, I’m talking about a game that Cebu fans will be talking about for years to come.

All these scenarios are possible, because one visionary, Ugur Tasci, dared to dream all those years ago.

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