Remembering the M. Lhuillier Jewelers football squad of 1998
LEGACY is one goal that every athlete in every corner of the globe—no matter what the sport is—dreams of in the course of his or her career.
Having the ability to leave behind a legacy for the younger generation to follow is a gift endowed only to those athletes who have the genuine talent and the iron will to persevere in his or her event.
And this is what exactly the M. Lhuillier Jewelers football squad has given to Cebu City 25 years ago today after the Cebu-based booters handed the city its first and only championship title in the elite Philippine Football Federation National Championship tournament held in Iloilo City in 1988.
Spearheaded by Australian Graeme Mackinnon, who acted as playing coach of the squad, the Jewellers gave Cebu City what nobody could at that time—the sweet taste of a championship title, a feat unequalled even to this date.
Mackinnon, who flew all the way from Sydney, Australia just to attend today’s 25th anniversary celebration of the team for their feat eons ago, said that perhaps the most important key to their victory on that fateful day was their determination to win and the iron-clad belief in whom they were playing for.
“What fueled our drive on that tournament is the collective pride of the team they were playing for. We were playing not only for Lhuillier and Cebu City but more importantly we were playing for ourselves,” Mackinnon said.
“Perhaps another factor of that victory is because our rivals underestimated us as we were the whipping boys of football during that time. What our foes failed to notice is that we as a team never underestimated them in every game. Aside from that, we also made sure that we stopped them from scoring and we maintained a good and strong defense all throughout the tournament by putting the right people in the right positions,” he added.
The lowly Jewelers had to climb an uphill battle as they were faced with powerhouse opponents, who came from places known as football meccas in the Philippines.
The glory days of the Jewelers, who also had the services of Rene Maambong and Edwin Arganza, who were both just 17 years old at that time, will be relived today as the team converges for its anniversary celebration and a rare trip down memory lane to reminisce the sweet taste of success.
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