By Marianne L. Saberon-Abalayan
Friday, March 30, 2012
DEFENDING champion Davao Football Association (Davao FA) will open its title-retention bid when it plays Davao del Norte at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the start of the PFF–Suzuki U23 Mindanao championships-Southern Mindanao Qualifying Tournament at the E-Park Field in Tagum City.
Multi-titled head coach Ramonito "Lalas" Carreon said the Medvil Football Club-bannered Davao squad is ready to repeat their victory last year.
"We are prepared. The players' training went well but we cannot underestimate our opponents," Carreon, who was attending the Kasibulan Instructors' Course in San Carlos City Friday, texted Sun.Star Davao in the vernacular.
He, however, said players from the University of Mindanao have been missing practices as they are also preparing for the National Prisaa Collegiate Games slated April 22 to 28 in Cebu City.
The veteran coach also said Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley are strong teams that may give them a stiffer contest this year.
The three teams will play a home-and-away format of competition in the regional qualifying. The squad with the most number of points will represent the region to the Mindanao finals that Davao City also topped last year.
Carreon picked Dominador Tato IV, Roeder Stephen Ignacio, Dean Mark Galleto, Sean Clarke Labang, Renz Rhey Napuran, Renelle Pino, Mark Paul Dayanan, Imardino Polo, Khadafi Biruar, Roland Manabit, Frances Jay Abrasaldo, Roelfred Napuran, David Angelo Diamante, Patrick Asoque, Jay Francis Abalunan, Michael Nehemiah Simms, Jacinth Ibanez, Raymon Paredo, Jomar Acedo, Yoshiharu Koizumi, Jestoni Felipe, Malon Demapanag, Jerrard Bierneza, Michael Pantojan, Danilo Lacuesta Jr., and Amani Aguinaldo to comprise the Rafael "Pops" Vilela-managed Davao City team before he left for San Carlos City.
Alvic Troyo and Michael Jay Fernandez will serve as assistant coaches.
Davao City will host Davao del Norte on April 22 before playing Comvaleños at their home turf on April 8. Dabawenyos will then play Comval at Tionko field on May 6.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 31, 2012.