12 September 2014

PFF Smart : Stiff challenge

THE University of Cebu (UC)-Bro Nationals is shooting for a spot in the national finals with a lineup that is different from the one that won the Aboitiz Football Cup.
UC-BRO, which fielded Nigerian students of UC, won the Aboitiz Cup men’s title, which was supposed to determine Cebu’s representatives for the Philippine Football Federation Smart Cup. But since the Smart Cup only limits five foreign players per team, another elimination was held which UC BRO won.
“Only five foreign players are allowed for every team and only three players can play at a time and the two are substitutes. The composition of players is coming from Erco FC, Bro Nationals and UC Alumni/Varsity. We have players like Ian Araneta, who played several times for Erco and Bro before,” Erco FC’s Rodney Orale told Sun.Star Cebu.
UC Erco-Bro Nationals is in Group D along with the winner of cluster 4 or Davao del Norte FA and the best second ranked club from clusters 1 to 4. The matches will be player here in Cebu on Sept. 19 to 21.
The top teams of each group will move on to the national finals and will be joined by three UFL teams. The eight teams will be divided into two groups and will play each other once. The top two squads of each group will then move on to the semifinals.
UC Erco-BRO Nationals are deep in training for the tournament and have already had several tune-up matches with local clubs here.
“We had tune ups against Leylam FC, UC varsity and Don Bosco Varsity and maybe Don Bosco Alumni FC in the coming days,” said Orale. “The team for Smart Club was supported by Mayor Mike Rama in the use of the Cebu City Sports Center football field for free and with the support of the CFA especially Engr. Pericles Dakay, the team is ready for competition.”
Though a totally different team that dominated the Aboitiz Football Cup tournament, head coach Glenn Ramos is optimistic of his team’s chances.
“Hopefully we can qualify for the national finals. We are halfway in our conditioning and our system of play.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 12, 2014.

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