Both Filipino and Korean players bond after a hard fought game that had no injuries or incidents. The real winners are going to be the recipients of the donations. $50k was raised to help families from the typhoon and landslide tragedies. (photos courtesy of Emille Biboy Soriano
Manila, Philippines- In one of the most memorable nights of Filipino football, the Koreans from Icheon Citizen Football Club edged out the Azkals in a penalty shootout to win the KIA Motors Rio Cup. The exciting game was tied at 1-1 when the Azkals scored a goal in the final minute of the game. But the more experienced Koreans won the shootout in penalty overtime 4-2 in a nail-biter ending. It was a game everyone could be proud of, including the charities for the Sendong and Compostela Valley victims. ABS-CBN, The Philippines Football Federation, and Dragon Promotions organized the event and donated over 2 million pesos ($50,000) from the gate receipts. KIA Motors also made a sizable contribution to help all those in need.
"This was one of the most exciting games I've watched! I was so pumped that this was the first time I stayed until the very end after all the post interviews. Even my wife watched football for the first time! And we raised so much for the families in need. That money will build much needed homes for the displaced families of the floods", said Peter Musngi, ABS-CBN Sports Vice-President.
"Our game was already planned when the disaster struck. Peter Musngi and I talked on the phone and he mentioned about the idea of turning our game into a charity event as well, and donating the gate receipts. That took about a second to agree on. ABS-CBN's motto has been "in the service of the Filipino", and they live up to it. We just follow their lead", said Charlie Williams, Founder of Dragon Promotions.
"It was a good game and we were happy to host the Koreans here. My father served in Korea during their civil war, so its good to see relationships grow from this", said Crissy Ramos, Commissioner of Philippines Football, and daughter of Fidel Ramos, former 12th President of the Philippines. Fidel Ramos went to the United States Military Academy at West Point, and he graduated in 1950. Ramos, along with the Philippines' 20th Battalion Combat Team and his fellow West Point graduates of the 1950s, fought in the Korean War. Ramos was one of the celebrated Filipino heroes of the Korean War.
"All the Korean coaches wanted to meet the daughter of the former President. When I mentioned Ramos, their eyes lit up. He is a popular figure in South Korea", added Williams.
KIA Motors has been the official sponsor of the Azkals and supporter of football the past year. KIA made a 500,000 peso contribution to the charity , including a brand new car which was given away in a raffle drawing.
"We all had such a good time tonight. Congratulations to the well-matched Azkals United and the Incheon Citizens FC, who both played a very good game. It was also exciting to see our new KIA Rio paraded in front of thousands of cheering fans. KIA will continue to support football in the Philippines and we look forward to being a part of the next Dragon Promotions event", said Ginia Roxas Domingo, President of KIA Motors Philippines. KIA is one of the top 4 selling cars in the Philippines. An impressive feat considering its 100 million population, about 1/3 the size of the USA.
"Both teams played their hearts out and entertained the fans thoroughly. The Korean team and coaches were really impressed at how the event was handled from beginning to end. They had no idea how big the game really would be, but everyone was pleased. So many fans came and so much money was raised, that it surpassed everyone's hopes", said Cindy Lee, CEO of Dragon Promotions.
"It was an awesome game! It seems everything Cindy and Charlie do in new ventures works out so perfectly. Well done and congratulations", commented Thorsten Hohmann on Dragon Promotions first venture into football. The 3x World Champion billiards professional Hohmann was invited as a VIP to the event, and had a nice pre-game conversation with the Head coach of the Azkals, Michael Weiss. Weiss and Hohmann apparently learned they are both from neighboring small towns in Germany.
ABS-CBN has set up its Sagip Kapamilya program to accept and distribute aid to the flood victims. They are accepting only donations in form of money now as food supplies and goods are abundant , thanks to the amazing response of the Philippines community. Donations can be sent to Sagip Kapamilya ABS-CBN Foundation Inc., Mother Ignacia cor. Eugenio Lopez St., Diliman, Quezon City. More info at http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/image/public-service/12/18/11/sagip-kapamilya-operation-sendong .You may also call Sagip Kapamilya hotlines: +63 (2) 411-4995 ; +63 (0) 2- 394-9272 ; +63 (0) 917-887-4411