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Monday, March 14, 2016

LBC supports KAYA Team Captain Aly Borromeo

Considered as one of the most important names in the history of Philippine football, Aly Borromeo talks about the peaks and valleys of his career, his injury and comeback, how perseverance transcends any setback, and why he stuck with football.

Aly Borromeo  was born on June 28, 1983, in San Francisco,
California. He moved to the
Philippines just over a week after he was
born. “I was five years old, and my mom
enrolled me at Tomas Lozano’s Makati
Football School [MFS]. I studied
gymnastics for a year before that,”
recalled Aly.

While MFS introduced the sport to Aly, he
grew up at KAYA, where he turned into
one of the finest players to don the
club’s colors. “There was no varsity team
in grade school, we just played in the
garden. I learned football at MFS; I was
there since I was five years old all the
way until high school. Then, I was part of
the varsity team of La Salle. I was
goalkeeper until I was 17 years old. I only started developing my skills on the field at that age.”
Aly recalls that his fondest football memory was the Gothia Cup in Denmark when he was 12 years
old, and they came in second place, an experience that he treasures to this day.

“In college, I was at DLSU [De La Salle University] for one year and CSB [College of Saint Benilde] for one semester, then I went to the States and studied at Skyline College in San Francisco for two years. I got scholarship offers from Division I schools but I chose to go back to the Philippines to pursue the national team.”

If there’s anything noticeable about Aly, it’s his athleticism and healthy lifestyle. Growing up,
gymnastics and football aside, he played every sport he came across. He interestedly tried each
one, and football ultimately won in the end. “Basketball helped with my footwork, tennis with my coordination, and golf with my patience. They helped me a lot,” explained Aly.

But why football? “Nothing compares to the feeling of playing a team sport like football, like when you score a goal. You worked so hard to achieve that goal. Every player has to work. The unity and
camaraderie it brings is different compared to other sports.”

Although Aly has been KAYA’s longtime  captain, being the captain of the Philippine national football team (Azkals) after the 2010 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup is the title
that resonated with the public. In December 2010, Aly led the Azkals to that monumental win. Their
achievement did not just put the country on the football map, but also gave the next generation of Filipino footballers a chance to pursue their dreams. For Aly, being a part of that determined team means so much: “I knew going into the tournament that we could actually compete against Vietnam and Singapore with that core team we had, but no one believed in us. And that made us work even harder! We were playing purely for passion and pride for the country, for each other, and for the sport. We knew we could build something for this country.” 

When the perseverance finally paid off, the feeling was priceless. Aly’s professional football career
launched itself after that historic 2010 finish. “It all fell into place after 2010. We were like
overnight stars, celebrities. We were like rock stars in one day! I realized this could be full-time,
something to achieve and make football bigger in the Philippines, which is why the UFL is here.”

Aly’s proudest moment on the field remains the win against Vietnam because “it changed the face
of Philippine football.” He believes that, while the current squad is fulfilling its potential, there are
some areas that need improvement. Aly hasn’t been called to rejoin the Azkals recently, however,
he says the door is always open. “If I get invited to, why not. But I’m not devastated about it
because I know Dooley selected the best players at the moment.”

KAYA FC is proudly supported by LBC.

Watch Captain Aly Borromeo in action at Kaya FC’s next 2016 AFC Cup Group F qualifying match
against Balestier Khalsa (SIN) on March 15 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are now available and are sold and handled by MaC2 Group Manila, which can be reached
by phone at 0917-5387589 or via e-mail at Tickets will also be
available at the venue on match day.

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