By Marianne L. Saberon-Abalayan
THE Philippine Football Federation-Suzuki U23 National Cup Davao Region elimination kicks off Friday afternoon at the Tionko field with three teams seeing action.
Host Davao City, Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley will slug it out for a slot to the All-Mindanao finals from April 26-30 at still undetermined venue. The national finals are slated May 6 to 12.
A brief opening ceremony will be held starting at 1 p.m. with PFF and Suzuki executives as well as city officials gracing the affair.
PFF competitions department official Cyril V. Dofitas said the event serves as their long term program to discover talents for the national team.
"The Mindanao champion team will compete against Luzon and Visayas champions. The finals will adopt the international ruling of home-and-away game. When a Mindanao team makes it to the finals, a game will be held in the place where that team comes from," Dofitas said at a press conference at the Stadium Buffet Restaurant and Sports Lounge Thursday.
Suzuki Philippines corporate communications supervisor Areen Suria Fernandez said it was a privilege for her company to sponsor the three-year program of the PFF.
"This is our first time to sponsor the U23. We look forward to sponsoring other age groups," Fernandez said.
Bannering the Davao City squad are Rufino Samuel Mantos III, Jeffrey R. Albon, Mark Anthony B. Fernandez, Abdul Mamadali, Sean Clark Labang, Imardino B. Polo, Ruben Razid E. Mohammad Said, Clifford C. Dacera, Nur Hazzanal Mentang, Al Dinn Tiboron, Roelfred T. Napuran, Enrique J. Romero-Salas, Ian Oliver Sonza, Raymon Pareda, Joey P. Arobo, Juven Benitez, Jestoni R. Felipe, Edwin Giganto Jr. and Renelle Pino.
Davao Football Association president Rafael Vilela said the team will be mentored by Ramonito Carrreon, with Danny Boy Fernandez, Stanley Canete and Alvic Troyo as assistant coaches.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 01, 2011.