BACOLOD CITY - In the face of a perfect storm, it was Jovin Bedic who put things in order for the Philippine Azkals.
With the Azkals a goal down against a rampaging Thailand squad, Bedic came in and scored the equalizer as they came away with a 1-1 draw on Tuesday and remain unbeaten in the AFF Suzuki Cup Group B.
"Talagang yung desire and ayoko talaga mag-give up na matalo kami so si Patrick Strauss, ‘yung combination nandoon, so nakita ko pagturn ko noon, nandiyan na ‘yung goal so as a striker siguro kailangan ko lang tirahin iyon para makascore," said Bedic.
"Siguro lahat naman nagtrabaho pero yung pag 1-nil, parang mahirap talaga pero sabi ni coach na magprepare ako, baka pumasok ako, ginrab ko nalang yung opportunity na itong game na ito, kailangan ko magstep up," he added.
While they had to weather the storm that was the War Elephants on the pitch, outside of it - the region was also ravaged by Typhoon Samuel causing some of their supporters and some reporters to miss the match.
Among those straded in Iloilo was Bedic's family from Barotac Nuevo, who was already on their way to catch the Kaya FC - Iloilo star before an advisory from the coast guard disallowed vessels and ferries from traveling.
He still felt their support though, albeit not physically.
"Siyempre may bagyo pero nandoon pa rin sila [nakakatutok] sa TV, sumusuporta. Ngayon sobrang dami ng text na nag-congrats sa ating lahat," Bedic said.
"Hindi nanalo pero at least nakakuha tayo ng one point."
The 28-year-old striker however wouldn't allow rain to dampen his parade as he put himself in the same sentence as the Barotac Nuevo legends that came before him such as PFF President Nonong Araneta and former Azkals mainstays Chieffy Caligdong and Ian Araneta.
"Salamat kasi na-recognize tayo as part of legend sa Barotac at sa Iloilo at ngayon siguro mag-start na at magpatuloy pa rin ako sa ginagawa ko para sa Pilipinas," Bedic said.
"As a football player naman, ito naman pangarap mo para sa Pilipinas. Proud lang ako sa team ko at sa sarili ko na nakatulong para makuha rin ‘yung goal namin ngayon."