By Jerome Galunan Jr.
Bacolod City-based and reigning 2015 United Football League (UFL) Division 1 champion Ceres-La Salle FC joined Group E after yesterday’s official draw for the 2016 Asian Football Confederation (AFC), held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Ceres FC joined Singapore’s Tampines Rovers, Malaysia’s Selangor, and Bangladesh’s Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi.
The Tampines side has impressive records winning major trophies in Singapore football, including the Singapore Cup and the S. League.
The Singaporean squad has also won the national league championship seven times; thrice in the Singapore Cup; 5 times in the S. League; and once in the ASEAN Club Championship.
The Malaysian Selangor FA is also considered the most successful club in Malaysia. It has won a record 32 Malaysia Cups, 7 Malaysia Super League titles, 2 Malaysia Premier League titles, 7 Malaysia FAM League titles, 5 FA Cups, 8 Charity Cups, 4 Malaysia President Cups, 2 Malaysia Youth League titles, and an Agong’s Cup crown.
Meanwhile, the Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi has scored 3 titles in the Bangladesh Premier League, 3 in Bangladesh Federation Cup, and one each in the Nepal Budha Subba Gold Cup, Nepal Pokhara Cup, and Bhutan Kings Cup.
For Ceres FC mentor and director Ali Rojas Go, however, he thinks it’s a good draw for the club. “We have a big chance against the Singapore, Malaysia and Bangladesh sides. If we are 100% ready, we can beat these teams. Preparation will be the key to progress to the next stage,” he said.
On the other hand, fellow Philippine side Kaya joined Hongkong’s Kitchee, Singapore’s Balestier Khalsa, and Maldives’ New Radiant in Group F./