15 September 2015

32 teams battle for supremacy in PFF U-22 tiff

By Olmin Leyba

MANILA, Philippines – Talents from the provinces take centerstage as the Philippine Football Federation-Smart Under-22 Amateur Championship kick off its group stages beginning next month in venues all over the country.
A total of 32 teams from the different regional football associations are participating in the tourney, where the PFF hopes to discover candidates to the Phl U-23 side to the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.
The event, which will culminate in the knockout quarterfinals, semifinals and finals in January 2016 at the Panaad Sports Complex in Bacolod City, will give the floor to U-22 players who haven’t seen action yet in the first and second divisions of the United Football League.
“We won’t include any player from the UFL first and second divisions to give more chance to provincial players to show their talents and compete in an organized tournament,” said PFF competitions committee head Cyril Dofitas during yesterday’s press launch with PFF general secretary Edwin Gastanes and Smart Sports senior manager Epok Quimpo.
“Smart has always been a supporter of Philippine football, especially in the grassroots and competitive levels,” said Quimpo, adding the tourney goes in line with Smart’s campaign inviting everyone to the “Smart Life.” “We want participants not only to maximize their talents but also share it with their loved ones through their cellphones, postings on Instagram, Facebook and also inspire players younger than them."
The teams are scattered in eight groups and will play single-round robin with the winners advancing to the Last-8.

Group A is slated October 4 at Jose Yap Sports and Recreational Complex in Tarlac; Group B on Oct. 16-18 at Sta. Cruz Complex in Laguna; Group C on October 29-30 at Eco Athletic Field in Daet, Camarines Norte; Group D on Nov. 11-15 at Panaad; Group E on Nov. 25-29 at Surigao del Norte Sports and Cultural Center; Group F on Dec. 9-13 at Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex in Tagum; Group G at Kalawag Central Sports Complex in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat; and Group H  on Dec. 18-20 at Andres Bonifacio Field in Dipolog City.
Quarterfinals are set January 16-17 at Panaad with the victors progressing to the semis three days later. Finals and battle for third will be on January 21.
According to Gastanes, members of the champion team will be strongly considered to form the core of the Phl U-22 team that will compete in next year’s Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy in Brunei and possibly for the U-23 team to the next SEA Games.



  1. bad technique and strategy from the coach creates bad play, its never ending running game no system of playing,horrible..

  2. If this tournament is in preparation for the Hassanal Bolkiah Cup and the SEA Games
    and UFL first and second divisions youth players mostly coming from UAAP and NCAA schools are not eligible “to give more chances to provincial players” then why does the Tournament Regulations allow teams to register 5 foreign players (non-Filipino) . Doesn’t make sense since these foreign players are not eligible to play in the national team and will occupy slots that could be given to the local players.

  3. Tama, bakit may foreign players?

  4. ok lang may foreignser pero sobra dami naman .. 3 nlng or wla nlng sana .. sobra dami na ng 5 .. sana every year meron ganito para mga provincial FA may chance sumali ng national tournaments ..

    1. Kailangan ng foreign players to boost quality of locals kung wala yan sila malamang walang quality are the local likes of Aguinaldo, Porteria etc
      Bawat ASEAN leagues may foreign limit rules
      Singapore - 5
      Vietnam - 4
      Rest of ASEAN - 3 or 3+1 (3 maximum non-Asian + 1 Asian import or in other cases 4 foreigns without restrictions or in some leagues maximum of 4 Asian Foreigns)

    2. kaya for me the best is 3 .. it does boost up quality since d tayo football nation talaga .. i hope d lang to 1 year lng .. dapat every year meron ganito

  5. Hindi naman ito Pro League na dapat talaga may Foreigner eh. This is supposedly an all Filipino affair.

  6. "Bawat ASEAN leagues may foreign limit rules
    Singapore - 5
    Vietnam - 4
    Rest of ASEAN - 3 or 3+1 (3 maximum non-Asian + 1 Asian import or in other cases 4 foreigns without restrictions or in some leagues maximum of 4 Asian Foreigns)"

    These rules are applicable only for Club competitions. Competitions such as AFC Asian Cup, AFC u23, U22, U19, U16, U14 FIFA World Cup, FIFA U20, U17, World Cups, Olympics, AFC Asian Games and SEA Games including the Hassanal Bolkiah Cup only players that hold the nationality of its country is eligible.