By Roderick Osis
Saturday, October 22, 2011
FAILING to see action in their first two games, the Baguio Football Club (FC) will finally have its first taste of the United Football League (UFL) Cup this Sunday against bracket A leader Nomads Auction Manila.
But despite the odds against the Baguio FC, team manager Carl Belo remains upbeat against the Nomad FC who already scored two victories courtesy of Lions Meltique Beef FC and Union Internacional Manila.
The team is bankrolled by eight Saint Louis University football squad members, eight members from the newly formed University of Baguio football team, four from the Baguio City National High School, one from Pines City Colleges and several foreigners in the line-up.
“We’re very confident with our team, the boys are hungry for the win,” said Belo with the team’s first game after two cancellations the last time out.
In fact, a last minute cancellation by the organizers during their supposed first game last October 9, has prompted them to play against Team Socceroo FC with celebrities Daniel Matsunaga and Fabio Ide on their side while Paolo Bediones sits as team consultant.
The visiting Baguio FC lost in a favorable home court 3-2 decision but Belo was still happy with the outcome of the game saying it was the team’s first game as a team.
“This is a good gauge for us because it’s their first time to play as a competitive squad,” added Belo.
But Belo said it was an uphill battle for them to even come out with a line-up considering the city lacks a proper football arena which means Baguio would be an away team throughout the tournament.
Belo said they are a new entry in UFCAC, not having played for the past two years.
He described the BFC as very young and disciplined.
“We lack the dramatics but we hope we bring in the wins,” Belo said, adding winning is essential for the BFC, which is relying on their own finances for the tournament.
Victory Liner, which used to be their major sponsor, opted to become a minor one, as it has its own team now. It remains the official carrier though. The local sponsors have shied away from the BFC so far.
Twenty-eight squads are seeing action in the UFL Cup, an open competition which serves as a gateway for teams seeking a place in the UFL top flight competition beginning January.
The teams have been divided into seven groups with the top two squads from each group advancing to the Round of 16. The two No. 3 teams with the best records will claim the remaining two Round of 16 berths.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 22, 2011.