Philippine football legend Elmer "Lacknet" Bedia believes that the Philippines is looking at a good future in football after he witnessed the championship match between the San Beda Red Booters and the Benilde Blazers in NCAA Season 99. 

Bedia was among the 2,550 in attendance at the Rizal Memorial Stadium who saw San Beda win its 25th NCAA football crown on March 11, 2024.

“It was really exciting, I didn't expect the crowd and I witnessed a good game of football,” the Barotac Nuevo native said.

Bedia, one of the country’s most feared strikers during his time, played for the Philippine national football team for 13 years and was voted as “Mr. Football” by the Philippine Sportswriters Association in 1981, 1983, and 1984.

“We’ve got a good future especially seeing these collegiate players and hopefully there are some players here that can follow the footsteps of being “Mr. Football,” he added.


Although basketball has been predominantly the most popular sports in the country, the Philippines has made its stride internationally in football in recent years, most notably the magical ‘Miracle in Hanoi’ in 2010.

The ‘Miracle of Hanoi’ refers to the 2-0 victory of the Philippine national football team over Vietnam during the 2010 AFF Championship.

That win was regarded widely as the start of the Philippines' resurgence in the sport.

Since then, grassroots programs and competitions from different regions in the country have been established to sustain it.

“Overall, I was very happy that football in the Philippines is bigger and bigger that's why I came home to help the grassroots,” Bedia said.

Bedia himself believes that the Philippines has a future in football and it is just a matter of time before the country will find its place in the sport known worldwide as “the beautiful game”.

“We’re calling all the people in the Philippines to support this beautiful game because in football we have a future,” he said.

Bedia told GMA Regional TV News he has one wish for Philippine football, especially for the Philippine Men’s National Football Team.

“Our girls have already qualified in the World Cup. Hopefully, the men’s will do it before I die,” he said.