by Izzy Gonzales
After three compelling rounds of elimination matches, the United Football League LBC Cup finals are at long last underway. Sponsored by LBC Express, Inc. with major sponsors Rudy Project and Gatorade, the LBC Cup boasts 16 of the country’s top teams, with almost 400 skilled players from both the Philippines and abroad.
The race to the Cup started in October of this year, with teams divided into random groups of four. Elimination within the groups separated the first division from the second, with the top eight teams moving on to compete in the quarterfinals held in various locations around Manila. Represented at the Cup quarterfinals were Army Phiten, Alabang Grins Orient Freight, Kaya Digiprint, Union Rudy Project, Navy Selecta, Loyola ATR KimEng, Airforce Rider, and Mendiola EGames.
After matches amongst the first division were held, Army Phiten, Kaya Digiprint, Navy Selecta, and Airforce Rider emerged to play in the semi-finals. All seeded at the top of their groups in the beginning of the Cup, each team proved a formidable match for their opponents. A final round of eliminations saw Army Phiten and Air Force Rider surface as the top two teams of the LBC-UFL Cup.
"The LBC-UFL Cup has gotten tremendous support from football fans around the country," enthused Football Alliance (FA) Director Javy Mantecon. "I personally urge everyone to come out and witness the calibre of Philippine football firsthand."
FA President Randy Roxas also wished both teams well in the upcoming finals: "We in the Football Alliance are all very excited to be a part of football’s rebirth in the Philippines, and we wish both Army Phiten and Air Force Rider the best of luck in the final match. It’s our game!"