Pairings for knockout stages of PFF Smart National Club championships set
By Karl Decena
The Philippine Football Federation, together with partner SMART, has announced the pairings of the 16 teams which will battle in the knockout stages of the PFF-SMART National Club Championships next year.
For the first time in the tournament, ten of the best squads in the United Football League will clash with six clubs from provinces, which went through the competition’s qualifiers played all over the country.
Reigning League champion and Cup finalist Global will face Nomads Auction Manila at the Rizal Football Stadium in Manila, while another Cup finalist Penson Stallion Giligan’s will play Ceres FC of Negros Occidental at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod.
Green Archers United Globe will clash with Romgarjal FC of Zamboanga Del Norte at the Dipolog Sports Complez in Zamboanga, while the Loyola Meralco Sparks will tangle with Flame United FC of Cavite at the Rizal Stadium.
Surprise Cup quarterfinalist General Trias International FC will slug it out against Baguio United FC at the Benguet State University football field, while UFL squads Cebu Queen City United and Pachanga will collide at the Cebu Aboitiz Sports Field.
League runner-up Kaya FC will face M’Lang FC of North Cotabato at the Koronadal Sports Complex in Cotabato, while fellow UFL teams Philippine Army and Pasargad face each other at the Rizal Stadium to complete the pairings in the Round of 16.
“Football fans have a lot to look forward to this year,” SMART’s chief wireless advisor Orlando Vea said. “Most of the members of the Azkals – the national football team – are also playing for the participating teams just like Phil and James Younghusband who are part of the Loyola FC.”