Coach Lazarito confident to win Nat’l PRISAA crown
By Jerome S. Galunan Jr.
Winning the PFF-Smart Club Championship crown isn’t over yet for Ceres Football Club head coach Freddie “Nene” Lazarito, as he is set to lead the Western Visayas football team to the 2013 National Private School Athletic Association meet on February 10-16 in Lingayen, Pangasinan.
In an interview with Lazarito yesterday, the veteran coach stressed that winning the crown against Manila-based squads this month has proved that provincial teams remain to be strong contenders even in a higher level of football competition in the country.
“I am confident that my team wins this competition given that five of my players in this Western Visayas squad had suited up for the Ceres FC in the Club Championship. And with the addition of some players from Iloilo, I find this team stronger compared to the squad I have during the Regional PRISAA,” he told Watchmen Daily Journal.
Among the players which Lazarito mentioned to have played for the champion Ceres FC are strikers Jimuel Ariola of West Negros University and Ceres-La Salle’s J Baguiro as well as midfielders Joel Bedia Jr. Jose Emmanuel Thomas Diel and Anthony Tongson – also from the Ceres-La Salle squad.
Meanwhile, Iloilo players that Lazarito handpicked to fill up some key positions in the team are keeper Tristan Kit Robles and defender Elmar Nathaniel Boblo from Central Philippine University; and John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University’s midfielders Patrick John Berdin and Peter John Sobredo, and right wing Mark Anthony Sumabong.
“I find that our team is on the advantage side of this tournament. This team is also bannered by the core players seeing action the PFF-Suzuki Cup U23, which also leads the competition,” he said.
“I don’t underestimate other squads but the level of tournament we recently won in Manila was definitely tough yet we survived, how much more in this school-based competition? Western Visayas has the lists of top players and with Negros Occidental and Iloilo combined, we will be a stronger side” Lazarito explained.
“Likewise, my 29 years experience in coaching will be an advantage in this tournament,” he added.
Completing the squad are Ceres-La Salle’s keeper Jurex Replentes, Florence Ian Agraviador, Angelo Gabriel Bayohan, Marson dela Torre, Ralph Christian Layumas, Lope Mayagma III and Norman Seloterio and WNU’s Femar John Suganob.
Teams expected to end in the Top 4 of the competition are from Western Visayas, National Capital Region, Central Visayas (Cebu) and Davao, Lazartio said./WDJ Watchmen Daily