IT didn’t take long for Emelio 'Chieffy' Caligdong to make his mark with Green Archers United in the Philippine Football Federation-Smart Club Championships.
In just two games with his new team, the former Philippine Air Force Airman has registered three goals, including the winner in the 1-0 quarterfinal win over Pachanga last week, to become the tournament’s leading scorer.
With Caligdong's arrival, one teammate who has not only surrendered his position up front but also willingly yielded the spotlight is skipper and star striker Floriano 'Tating' Pasilan Jr.
But instead of complaining, Pasilan has willingly stepped aside and vowed to continue doing so, especially when the Archers take on Pasargad on Saturday in the semifinals at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
“Hindi naman (complaining), for the team naman, walang problema sa akin,” said Pasilan, the Archers’ leading scorer in the United Football League. “Kami ni Chieffy naman, as long as maganda pinapakita namin sa field at yung resulta, walang problema.”
The San Carlos City-born Pasilan has actually waited three years for their reunion, the two having been former teammates in the national team.
And their partnership will again be put to the test when the Archers face PSG at 6 p.m., with the winner earning a Finals berth against the winner of the Ceres-Kaya FC duel at 4 p.m.
Pasilan believes the addition of Caligdong has given the Archers the needed push to reach the next level.
“Pag wala na ako sa field, hindi masyado maapektuhan offense namin kasi marami pa rin kaming options.”
He, however, is still coping with his shift from striker to left wing.
"Konting adjustment lang, medyo nahirapan rin ako kasi kababalik ko lang sa left wing,” Pasilan said. “Every training trabaho ko balikan lang (from offense to defense), kasi when I played striker hindi ako masyado bumabalik (sa depensa), nasa taas lang.”
Pasilan hopes the Ilonggo connection - up front with Caligdong and Arnie Pasinabo, and at the flanks with him on the left and former Stallion booter Jovanie Simpron on the right – will continue to work wonders against Pasargad.
“Kaming apat sa taas nagkakaintindihan kasi puro Ilonggo.”
They would still have to be wary of PSG's diminutive dynamo Angelo Marasigan, who made a succesful debut by scoring the winner in his team's 1-0 win over General Trias in the quarterfinals last week.