Get well soon Mr. Katz. FC Edmonton recruits former Ceres-Negros midfielder, rising-star Christian James Liwanag

Get well soon Mr. Katz. FC Edmonton recruits former Ceres-Negros midfielder, rising-star Christian James Liwanag
Mike de Leon of Birdbox (with ball) is closely guarded by Edwin Arciaga of Pinoy Auto Loans in the ongoing Philippine Sports Association-Crosstown Auto Centre Spring League, April 21, at the Father Troy gym. Arciaga led his team to victory with 25 points while de Leon led the losing cause with 19 points.

Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz announced recently the appointment of Ken Holland as general manager and we hope that the new GM will make the needed improvements for our team to advance to the Playoffs next season.

My wife Marjorie and I had the opportunity to watch an Oilers game at the beautiful Rogers Place arena and what I saw was a very happy lady, rooting for her favourite, Connor McDavid, and the Oilers. Let me thank my compadre Warren Guillen again for that sports gift.

Usually after work, my wife will ask me for an update of the Oilers and will sport a frowning face each time I tell her that they lost a game. When they were out of the Playoffs, she was disappointed, heartbroken. That, I believe, is the same feeling of Oilers fans here in Edmonton.

Yet, it is my hope that with the coming of GM Holland, this team can find the solution for the Oilers to advance to the Playoffs!

* * *

If you’ve been following Oilers news, you’ve probably read too of the ongoing health issues that the Oilers owner has been dealing with.

The Oilers Entertainment Group, in a statement to the media, confirmed that Katz has been dealing with a life-threatening sinus infection.

We pray that Mr. Katz recovers soon so that he’ll be able to do more in life and get things done for the Oilers to win another Stanley Cup!

On behalf of the Filipino fans, get well soon, Mr. Katz!

* * *

What’s exciting these days is the news that the FC Edmonton is getting action in the Canadian Premier League.

By the time this paper is printed, FC Edmonton has played against the Pacific FC for the home opener at Clarke Field. So far in the line-up there are no players of Filipino descent but it would be exciting too to follow the FC Edmonton, other than the Oilers.

There’s also a Connor in the line-up, of course, not Connor McDavid but Connor James, a 22-year-old goalkeeper, who was brilliant in his professional debut according to our FC Edmonton source Greyson. Other players to watch are Mele Temguia, Amer Didic, Ramon Soria, team captain Tomi Ameobi, Prince Amanda, Oumar Diouck, David Doe, Randy Edwini-Bonsu, Jeannot Esua, Ajay Khabra, Philippe Lincourt-Joseph, James Marcelin, Edem Mortotsi, Kareem Moses, Easton Ongaro, Dylon Powley, Ajeej Sarkaria, Mele Temguia, Marcus Velado-Tsegaye, Allan and Bruno Zebie. Coach is Jeff Paulus.

The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) is the oldest sports organization in the Philippines and was established in 1907. We had the opportunity to follow and even write for a football association years ago and that gave me a chance to attend conferences organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), an organization which was actually founded in Manila in 1954.

So we know a little about soccer.  Thanks to our Ilonggo football friends Atty. Rene Adad, who was then PFF president and best remembered for keeping football alive in the Philippines, his secretary-general Chris Monfort, the amiable and brilliant gentleman from Bacolod, and their Mindanao football development officer and sometimes controversial Victorio Sai (God bless their souls, they are all in Heaven now) for making us part of Philippine football development.

Reading the FC Edmonton line-up provided to us, it looks solid and so we wish FC Edmonton all the best this season.

Because I am Pinoy and of Asian descent, I’ll be closely monitoring Yong-Chan Son, recruited by FC Edmonton from South Korea.

Yong-Chan So is a 28-year-old midfielder.

You may remember him when he played for the Ceres-Negros FC from 2014 to 2016 in the Philippine Football League.

So, there’s the Pinoy football connection there!

I know there are Filipinos in Edmonton who are soccer fans, so I encourage you to go to the FC Edmonton website, secure your tickets and cheer for Yong-Chan So and the FC Edmonton!

* * *

Chris Liwanag.

Yes, that six-foot-one pointguard from St. FX has earned an invitation to play for the San Sebastian Stags in the Philippines.

This is the second talented Edmonton-based basketeer to get an invitation to play in the Philippines after Virlou Orquez, a regular Philippine Sports Association player in Edmonton, who is now suiting up for the Adamson Soaring Falcons. Orquez has been sidelined because of injury though, but he said he is recuperating and will soon get back into action.

Chris’ father Francis said that his son was the only Pinoy to play in the “All-Star Basketball Alberta Showcase” last April 9 at the Harry Ainlay gym, meaning he is one talented player.

When we were watching some games in the Philippine Sports Association (PSA) League with PSA president Gary Perpetua and Filipino Journal editor Lito Velasco, I remember DJ Rolan Latorre of World FM 101.7, who is also a veteran referee of the Edmonton Basketball Officials Association (EBOA), telling me about some talented Filipino basketeers in Edmonton.

And I started to notice that too.

That is the reason why we praise Filipino basketball organizers for continually doing what they love, organizing tournaments for the community.  It is not only that they give the community a venue to come together and fellowship but in a big way, it keeps these Filipinos fit because they play every weekend.

And the bonus is that Philippine basketball scouts have started to search for outstanding players in Edmonton!

We wish Christian James Liwanag all the best with the Stags!

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To members of the Filipino sports community in Alberta Province, I encourage you to keep us posted of your sports events by sending us an email to mocolumnist@albertafilipinojournal.com.

Maraming salamat po!

Photo by Moses Billacura | Alberta Filipino Journal

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