By Marianne L. Saberon-Abalayan
DAVAO del Norte and Davao FA-Columbia booters booked finals berths having grabbed the top two spots in the 2010 Mindanao Filipino Premier League Qualifying at the E-Park in Apokon, Tagum City Tuesday afternoon.
Davao City thrashed Maguindanao-Cotabato City FA/Unifruitti, 12-0, to finish with three wins and one draw alongside Davao del Norte FA. But the latter topped the qualifying with higher goal difference.
"Davao del Norte led with three goals. Our supposed target opposite Cotabato was 20 goals but we fell short and settled for 12 goals instead. But what's important is we are going to the finals in Cagayan de Oro in November," Davao City coach Ramonito "Lalas" Carreon said Wednesday.
Davao's scorers were Francis Philip Acala (18th); Jayric Iligan (24th, 28th and 78th); Alan Ray Fernandez (43rd), Jason Mortillero (56th, 49th, and 75th); and Joey Arobo (43rd, 71st, 89th & 90th +1).
Compostela Valley and Magcofica-Unifruitti placed third and fourth, respectively.
It can be recalled that Davao City and Davao del Norte, which took an 8-2 win over North Cotabato in the last game, were held to a scoreless draw earlier in the qualifying round.
"We had lots of chances to win against Davao del Norte but most of our players were not up to it as they were not really that fit," Carreon said. "I'm glad to have chosen the right players though. We still managed to qualify in the finals despite the players' lack of fitness."
Carreon expects a tougher field in the finals with Cagayan de Oro and Dipolog also entered in the cast of the league organized by the Philippine Football Federation.
"It will be the same round robin format event in Cagayan de Oro. I've asked the players to give time for training, especially, the veterans so they can be fit to play," Carreon said. "I see no problem with their skills and techniques. If they are just present in training, I'm very optimistic we can even become champion."
PFF general secretary Cyril Dofitas and Danofa president Rene Cosmod awarded the trophies to the winners.
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