By Roderick Osis
Friday, April 13, 2012
THE Baguio–Benguet under-23 squad squares off against a formidable team this weekend in its campaign in the ongoing PFF Suzuki Under-23 (U23) National Cup.
Seeking its second win after three games, the Goshenland-backed football squad will be up against a highly favored National Capital Region in the North Luzon kick off in the tournament being brought by Suzuki and the Philippine Football Federation.
Baguio actually won over Rizal, 3-1, in the opening match but yielded a sorry 3-2 loss against Tarlac in a home-and-away format tournament.
“This is going to be our toughest game yet but we’ll try to match their skills,” said coach Aries Bocalan.
Although Baguio will be fielded in the tournament, organizers have chosen the BSU football field in La Trinidad as playing venue because the Summer Capital has no decent football pitch to boast of interims of playability.
It could be recalled the Melvin Jones football grounds was recently used by an amusement corporation during the flower festival before it was utilized by a religious group during the Holy Week.
The PFF Suzuki U23 National Cup is dubbed as the local adaptation of the AFF Suzuki Cup, the most celebrated football competition organized by the Asean Football Federation for football-competing national teams in the Southeast Asian region.
The PFF earlier said with the football hype in the country, the tournament aims to search for a stronger Philippine team with the cup serving young aspirants to be the best of what they can be.
In fact, the PFF and Suzuki recently signed a memorandum of agreement for the staging of the national tournament to be staged nationwide.
The PFF Suzuki U23 cup will also serve as preparation for the SEA Games U23 cup in 2013.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 14, 2012.