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Futsal gaining Pinoys’ fancy

Futsal is gaining popularity in the country and could expect further boost with the growing number of playing facilities in the cities.

From parks, footballers now get to play in sports amenities of residential condominiums.

Fifa Futsal Elite Referee and coach Rey Ritaga, the first Filipino national player to ever officiate in a Fifa Futsal World Cup event, believes Filipinos can excel in the sport.

“I believe we have better chances in this sport because first of all a futsal ball is denser and has less bounce compared to football which means it is played mostly on the ground,” said Ritaga.

“So we don’t need big players to play the sport. In futsal, a player can excel as long as he or she is armed with the necessary skills like dribbling, scoring, speed and teamwork,” he added.

The Henry V. Moran Foundation, which works with Philippine Football Federation, public schools and other organizations in promoting the development of futsal in the country, has joined hands with real estate developer DMCI Homes to help the growth of the sport in the Philippines.

Futsal clinics for kids aged 4 to 12 have been held at Zinnia Towers in Quezon City and Kevin Goco, Futsal Department Head of the PFF and volunteer of the Moran Foundation, said they are planning to hold matches in selected DMCI Homes condo communities to generate more interest.

“All we need for a futsal program is a basketball court or open area, which almost every DMCI Homes community has, and we could really create a massive grassroots program for the different communities,” Goco said, noting that the program also helps raise good kids.

“Things like teaching them confidence, how to communicate, how to deal with one another and the team. Things that will help them when they’re in school and eventually when they’re going to work for an organization. It’s all about teamwork,” Goco related.

Founded by businessman Danny Moran, a former Philippine football team member, the Moran Foundation has focused on football and futsal as means to achieve its mission of empowering children especially the underprivileged by developing their leadership, character, values and life skills.

“The sport requires quicker decision making, better decision making on the court. Since you touch the ball more often compared to football, you need to make decisions faster. In a way it helps develop the player more technically if they want to play football eventually,” Moran pointed out.

DMCI Homes President Alfredo Austria for his part said the collaboration with PFF and the Moran Foundation is in line with the company’s mission of providing a learning environment for residents.

“Most of our projects have a basketball court and other sports amenities because we believe that they are great learning tools for residents. Not only do sports build character, sports also help promote interaction among residents which is good for community building,” he said.

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