NEGROS Occidental’s Panaad Park and Stadium will be busy this month of May as it hosts the PFF-Suzuki U-23 National Cup Group B elimination matches are set to kick off on May 15-20, 2011.
This was confirmed yesterday by Ceres-Negros Selection assistant coach Ramon Janeo.
According to Janeo, Red Avelino of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) disclosed this information to him after the Negros team topped the Visayas Regional finals in Dumaguete last week, sweeping all four teams in the region at Siliman Ball Park.
The huge 11-0 victory of the Negros Selection over Leyte Football Association (FA) sent a strong message that Negrense booters remain to be among the country’s best. They also disappointed their Iloilo rivals on a 1-0 victory with J Baguioro’s goal in the 44th minute of the match while Negros blanked Cebu and Dumaguete, 3-0 during their first and second assignments in the tournament.
Comprising the Ceres-Negros Selection mentored by former national men’s team head coach Norman Fegidero are John Robert Mendoza, Lemuel Unabia, Carmelo Tacusalme, Janrick Soriano, Jose Emmanuel Diel, Jimmy Malaloan, Jake Morallo, Anthony Tongson, J Baguioro, Ralph Layumas, Joshua Beloya, Joven Bedic, Abelardo Solinas, Gino Palomo, Willy Mangubat, Jurex Replentes, Aldrin Dolino and Michael Pacite.
Working beside Fegidero are assistant coaches Janeo, Ronnie Tornilla, Simon Hulleza, Ali Go, Carlo Torbela and Michael Casas while Leo Rey Yanson serves as team manager.
Janeo further said that among the teams which will play at Panaad grounds will be the winners of the April 28-30 scheduled matches for the Luzon and Mindanao clusters.
Those vying for positions to represent National Capital Region (NCR) and Luzon are the Baguio City Benguet Football Association (FA) and Laguna FA in the North, Central and South Luzon cluster while Naga City-Camarines Sur FA and Oriental Mindoro FA will battle it out in the Southeast Luzon cluster. The right to earn a slot for NCR or Luzon will be based on the team’s ranking after the April 28-30 games which will be played at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños, Laguna.
On the other hand, among the teams to slug it out for the top two spots in the All-Mindanao Finals are Davao FA, Cagayan de Oro (CDO)-Misamis Oriental FA, North Cotabato and Zamboanga del Norte-Dipolog FA. Matches will be played at Tionko field in Davao City.
Davao advanced to the All-Mindanao Finals by topping the Southern Mindanao eliminations with a total of six points after winning its two matches in the three-team field while CDO controlled North Mindanao as North Cotabato and Zamboanga took the Central and West Mindanao, respectively.
The staging of the PFF-Suzuki U-23 Cup is a partnership of the PFF and Suzuki Philippines to tap the wealth of talented booters in the country.
The top teams that will make it to the finals will clash in a home and away championship match, after which the winner will be crowned as the PFF-Suzuki U-23 Champions.
Moreover, these two top teams will possibly serve as a pool where majority of the players to compose the next ‘Azkals’ will come from and will represent the country in the upcoming 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia.