PFC players Blasco, Bustos reflect on season like no other

The Pacific FC players watched the CPL final Saturday on TV back home after six weeks in a bubble on an island on the other side of the country. While all were affected professionally by the pandemic, PFC attacking-midfielder Victor Blasco was impacted professionally and personally. Both his parents, mother Adela and father Marcos, contracted COVID-19 in his native Spain. Both recovered, Adela after two months in a hospital and with time on a ventilator.

“It was tough, not easy, being so far away and with the time difference,” said Blasco.

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“This year has not been easy on anyone. Thank god they both recovered. I prefer to focus on the good things.”

Although clearly secondary to his parents’ return to health, the good extended to the pitch, where Blasco scored two goals with two assists in the CPL’s abbreviated-season tournament in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

“We wish we could have been playing in the final, but we did get third place, and everyone saw our potential,” said Blasco.

“Nobody wants to play against Pacific next year. It was a huge improvement [after missing the playoffs in 2019]. We laid a foundation to build on.” Meanwhile, PFC striker Marco Bustos was named among the three finalists for 2020 CPL MVP with fellow Canada-capped Kyle Bekker of champion Forge FC and also Akeem Garcia of championship-game finalist HFX. Callum Irving of PFC is a finalist for the Golden Glove as CPL goalkeeper of the year. The winners will be decided by votes in a cross-country media panel and announced in a virtual CPL awards ceremony later this year.

The offensively-artful Bustos stated his case for MVP with five goals and three assists in 10 games for PFC.

“All through the pandemic break I put in the hard work and knew I would be ready to play,” he said.

“Then it was about expressing myself and I got the opportunity to do that. It was definitely not easy because nobody has gone through a season like this before and it was a grinder of a tournament played over a short period. Full credit to my PFC teammates and the team staff. They are the ones who got me this [MVP] nomination.”

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

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