With goalkeeper Roland Muller going on leave and ace midfielder Iain Ramsay suiting up for another club next season, Ceres-Negros FC hopes to fortify its lineup with new recruits in time for the AFC Champions League next month.
In a radio interview, Club administrator Nicolas Golez said they will present to the public the new addition to the team once the deal is finalized.
Head Coach RistoVidakovic, he said, is tasked to look for a new goalkeeper and a couple of left wingers.
Vidakovic is expected to rejoin the team in the Champions League preliminaries despite the 6-month suspension from the Philippines Football League.
Golez said they are still waiting for PFL’s reply on their appeal over Vidakovic’s case. The second season of the PLF is scheduled to start in March 2018 with Ceres-Negros as the defending champions.
Ceres-Negros FC barged into the international football season this year with a remarkable performance in the AFC Cup, where they finished with the ASEAN Zone trophy.
The Bacolod City-based squad also received the AFC Fair Play Award for the 2017 AFC Cup, a first for a Filipino club in Asian competition.
The AFC Fair Play Award is given to the participating club that has collected the most Fair Play points in the competition.
Points are awarded for positive play, conduct on and off the field and the behavior of supporters at the stadium and deducted for the number of red and yellow cards received in a match.
The Fair Play Award is a first for a Filipino club in Asian competition.
The award adds another feather to the cap of the Negros squad who had a successful year being crowned as the tournament’s ASEAN Zone champion and as the inaugural champion of the Philippines Football League.*NAB
Ceres-Negros FC will play in the preliminaries of the AFC Champions League against Myanmar on Jan. 16.*
The Philippine women’s national football team is set to begin its three-month training camp in Corona, California, USA for the all-important Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup 2018.
Preparations will start on Wednesday with newly appointed head coach Richard Boon and assistant coach Clint McDaniel overseeing the program.
Local mainstays Patrice Impelido, Inna Palacios, Camille Rodriguez and Sara Castañeda flew to California on Tuesday to join the camp, comprising the first batch of female booters from Manila called up by the Philippine Football Federation (PFF).
Next to leave for the US are homegrown talents Alesa Dai Dolino, Mea Bernal, Kyla Jan Inquig and Anicka Castañeda.
Over 40 players are expected to participate in the three-month camp that mixes up locals with overseas-based booters selected through a talent scouting held last November at the El Cerrito Sports Complex Corona.
Among the notable overseas-based players are Eva Madarang, Hali Long, Hanna Parado and Claire Lim, who suited up for the country’s successful campaign in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifying stage and Southeast Asian Games earlier this year.
A win and a draw for the Malditas will give them one of the five berths to the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) Women’s World Cup 2019.
The Philippines will open its campaign against host Jordan on April 6 at the Amman International Stadium. Next on the schedule is China, the highest-ranked squad in Group A, on April 9 and finally against Southeast Asian powerhouse Thailand on April 12, both at the King Abdullah 2nd Stadium.
The intensive preparation is arranged by the Project Jordan Task Force led by PFF president Mariano Araneta and backed by PLDT, the MVP Sports Foundation, Giligan’s, Winner Circle Athletics and Pythos Technology.
CFA. The new Global Cebu FC owner Alvin Carranza will need the support of the Cebu Football Association (CFA) which will be known as Central Visayas Regional Football Association (CVRFA) to be successful in the Philippine Football League. CFA president Ricky Dakay (second from right) here with CFA official Glen Quisido and Aboitiz Group of Companies officials during the launching of the Aboitiz Fooball Cup recently. (Contributed photo)
GLOBAL Cebu FC has a new owner Alvin Carranza, the founder and owner of MacGraphics Carranz International Corp. He has been a long time supporter of grassroots football being the Managing Director of the Teen Azkals Foundation Inc. This time, Carranza is bringing his love for the beautiful game to a higher level which is professional football. He said that they are still in the process of revamping the club and they will start brain storming after Christmas. He has tasked former Davao Aguilas manager Chito Manuel to organize the club. Manuel was also tasked by Davao Aguilas owner Jeff Cheng to organize the club when they started early this year. Carranza is also looking for a foreign coach and wants a European coach to lead the club to a better finish next season. Global-Cebu FC finished runner-up to Ceres Negros in the recently concluded Philippine Football League (PFL). The Cebu football community is welcoming the new owner of the Global FC Cebu but according to long time Cebu Football Association (CFA) long time board member Nimrod Quiñones, the new owner should sit down and talk with the CFA so that they could work together in making the Cebu team successful. Dan Palami, the former Global Cebu team owner was very close to the CFA officials particularly with president Ricky Dakay of the Dakay Construction, one of the biggest construction firm in the Visayas. “We are not part of Global FC but we gave them all out support in the ways we could for the love of the game and for Cebu,’’ Quiñones said. Quiñones served as security officer in every matches that Global Cebu FC hosted at the Cebu City Sports Center. Sun*Star Cebu sports editor Mike Limoag, an avid football writer and supporter, has also welcomed the change of management. However, he said that it has unnerved some fans because of lack of updates. He is also hoping that the new management will be aggressive in getting new homegrown talent to play for the first team. Global Cebu had one homegrown player in its line-up, former University of San Carlos striker John Roy Melgo, son of Borbon town vice mayor Roy Melgo. Carranza’s taking over of the Global Cebu FC is a wise decision for him as the club has also strong community based supporters. I have talked with him many times before and he told me that we was planning to set up a club to play for PFL. Buying Global is much cheaper than setting up a club and starting from scratch. Global-Cebu FC attracted more than 5,000 paying fans every home matches last season. That is a lot compared to most clubs who are struggling to attract paying fans to their matches. He is also also hoping to get Cebu based companies to sponsor the club so that he could get good players and stay competitive for the next season. The next thing that Carranza should do is hire a well known coach from Cebu to help his European head coach. A local coach who has a wide network and an excellent record. Cebu football is very lucky to have Carranza. When will Cagayan de Oro have its own PFL team? (email@example.com)
AFTER a successful 2017 Season, Fil-German goalkeeper Roland Muller will take a leave from Ceres Negros FC. In his post, Muller said that six months ago, he already informed the club that he will take a leave at the end of the season. “I want to be with my wife and support her pregnancy. This will be my new chapter – priority, family first,” he said. Muller also said that their success in Ceres FC didn’t just happen. “We worked hard every day for it, respected and took care of each other from our bus driver to our coaches – everything matched together. Small details made the difference,” he said. “Our work is done. It’s the biggest success for a Philippine club and I have been so happy to be part of it. Again, thank you Ceres FC, Bacolod fans and the Philippines for the beautiful memories,” he added.
Ceres FC team manager James Dinsay confirmed Muller’s statement, saying that Muller really decided to stop first and focus on his family. “I don’t have any idea yet how long he will be out, but the club will build a team for next season that can compete with international clubs. There will be changes in the team, but not a lot. Only a few and we will make an announcement when everything is final,” he added.
THE ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) released the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) world rankings last Thursday with a disappointing result for the Philippine Azkals, dropping to second from being top-ranked last month among Southeast Asian nations.
Vietnam is now in the 112th spot, rising 13 spots and surpassing the Azkals, who declined six spots to finish the year at the 124th place.
Thailand rose two spots to rank 130th and retaining its third place among Southeast Asian nations.
Myanmar, one of the biggest movers, climbed 10 spots to 140th but remained 4th place in the region.
PHILIPPINES Football League (PFL) runner up Global Cebu FC will lose a key player after Filipino-Japanese wingman Hikaru “Pika” Minegishi decided to play for Thai football club Pattaya United Blue Dolphins.
The midfield ace will now be playing in the premier division of Thailand’s Thai League 1 (T1) commonly referred to as the Toyota Thai League.
“Thank you for everything. I had a little bit regret in season. But it’s okay. This is football life and my life,” Minegishi posted on Instagram last Wednesday. “The next season must make more efforts not to be sorry.”
In early 2015, the 26-year-old midfielder signed a contract with Global Cebu FC after fellow Fil-Jap Daisuke Sato invited him to play for the club.
MANILA, Philippines — Iloilo, considered one of the country’s football hotbeds, wasn’t part of the inaugural season of the Philippines Football League. But for next year, Iloilo will possibly get its representation in the eight-team league.
“There’s one team (from the current roster) that’s going to go to Iloilo,” Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta told The STAR.
In the just-concluded PFL season, the cities represented were Negros (eventual champ Ceres), Cebu (runner-up Global), Manila (third placer Meralco), Makati (Kaya), Marikina (JPV), Laguna (Stallion), Ilocos (Ilocos United) and Davao (Aguilas).
“I can’t divulge right now (which among the teams) but they’ll go to Iloilo to tap the fan base there and that will really make it national in nature,” Araneta said.
The maiden season of the PFL was played over seven months on a home-and-away format, culminating in a Finals series capped off by Ceres’ 4-1 win over Global in a livewire championship at Panaad in Bacolod.
“It was a good final game even though it was raining but the field was okay, the game was very exciting. We hope to ride on the success for next year and hopefully we’ll get more sponsors,” said Araneta.
Among the main areas of concern for PFL’s second season are the venues hosting the fixtures and the need to attract more sponsorship.
“Of course, the venues need to be improved on, like UMAK (University of Makati). JPV, which plays its home games in Stallion’s venue, should have its own home, which is very important for the league,” the PFF chief said.
“Since we didn’t have enough sponsors this year, we just tried to work on a tight budget. Hopefully the sponsors will come next year so we can expand the personnel to make it more professional,” he added.
Araneta proudly reported that the PFF received an award for league development from the Asian Football Confederation after launching the PFL.
“We’re able to conduct a series of seminars for the teams, workshops with the support of the AFC (to complement the birth of the PFL),” he said.
BACOLOD CITY—Bracing for a busy year ahead, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has approved a P167 million budget for projects and programs for 2018, when the men and women’s national teams play in big international tournaments.
PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said that while the federation will continue receiving subsidy from the International Football Federation (Fifa), Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Asean Football Federation (AFF), it would still need to raise about P32 million from other sources to meet the budgetary requirements.
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The budget proposal was approved during the PFF Congress at L’Fisher Hotel here over the weekend.
The bulk of the budget, Araneta said, would go to the technical department, which covers grassroots and age-group teams, and the national teams.
The construction of a new football center inside the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite, was also included in the budget along with the installation of the floodlights for the PFF National Training Center field.
For their international campaigns, the Azkals will need P58 million as they try to qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in March.
The Azkals are also seeing action in the AFF Suzuki Cup late in 2018.
Araneta said that P15 million will be allotted for the Malditas, who will vie in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan in April.
“It will be a busy year for us next year,” said Araneta. “We’re hoping to raise more funds for our programs.”
BACOLOD CITY – Add one more historic feat for Ceres-Negros in a year already full of glorious moments.
Ruthless on the counterattack, the Busmen demolished rival Global Cebu, 4-1, last Saturday night to wrest the first Philippines Football League crown in front of a lively crowd at Panaad Stadium here.
National team standout Iain Ramsay delivered a hat trick after Spanish striker Bienvenido Maranon opened the scoring four minutes into the match as the Busmen came up with a performance to remember against a worthy foe.
The victory capped an impressive year for the Busmen, who also made history last August when they ruled the AFC Cup Asean zonal championship at the expense of Singapore’s Home United at Panaad.
The Busmen relied on quick counterattacks to pick apart a Global side that looked a step slow right from the get-go. For a change, Ceres allowed Global to settle into the match early before hitting the Cebu side on the counter.
Ramsay found space on the left before teeing up Maranon inside the area. The Spanish striker’s volley past Patrick Deyto not only opened the scoring, but gave the Ceres star his 22nd goal of the season.
Almost immediately, Global threatened with a long-range effort from Rufo Sanchez, whose shot rattled the crossbar.
Another quick counter in the 20th minute opened up a golden opportunity, this time, for Ramsay to tuck home from close range to double the lead.
Ramsay made it 3-0 on the night with another precise finish in the area as the Busmen moved on the cusp of glory.
Just after the hour mark, Ramsay grabbed his hat trick after he was set up by the returning Patrick Reichelt inside the area.
Daryl Roberts pulled a goal back for Global in the 89th minute, but it only delayed the inevitable as Ceres made history in front of more than 2,200 spectators that included Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta.
BACOLOD CITY—It doesn’t get any bigger than this for Philippine club football.
Two clubs that have won every major trophy in the country the past three years—Ceres Negros and Global Cebu—seek to make history on Saturday when they dispute the first Philippines Football League title at 6 p.m. at Panaad Stadium here.
The Busmen are looking to end an incredible year with another trophy after winning the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asean zonal championship last September.
But with a squad decimated by injuries and suspensions, coach Risto Vidakovic’s side face a difficult task of overcoming a Global side that stunned top seed Meralco Manila in the semifinals last weekend.
“We don’t have the pressure, rather we have the pleasure of playing here in Bacolod,” said Ceres defender Martin Steuble. “We’re confident. It’s one game and for 90 minutes, we just have to do our best.”
Ceres’ strength lies in its depth as the Busmen have survived a gruelling season and a tough AFC Cup campaign to put themselves in a position to win their first domestic trophy since ruling the United Football League in 2015.
“Throughout the season, our team has suffered injuries, but the team has delivered good results,” said Steuble.
Ceres and Global split their four meetings this season.
The match coincides with the Philippine Football Federation Congress in the city, where PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta will present his plans and projects for 2018.
The Philippines Football League has formally announced that the Pana-ad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental will host the inaugural PFL Final match between Global Cebu FC and Ceres Negros FC on Saturday, 16 December 2017. Kick-off time is at 6:00 PM.
The PFL has also announced that the Rizal Memorial Stadium will host the Third and Fourth match between FC Meralco Manila and Kaya FC Makati on Friday, 15 December 2017 with kick off time to be determined.
The venue for the PFL Final was finalized today, 11 December 2017 after the second PFL Finals Series meeting with the clubs. The first meeting was held last 29 November 2017. The PFL invited the clubs to signify their intention to host the Finals subject to PFL making the final decision in accordance with Article 2.11 of the PFL Tournament Regulations. Both FC Meralco Manila, who plays at the Rizal Memorial Stadium and Ceres Negros FC, who plays at the Pana-ad and Park Stadium signified their intent to host the Final match while Global Cebu FC cited the pitch and lighting conditions for the unavailability of the Cebu City Sports Center. Likewise, the University of Makati Stadium would not be able to host back-to-back matches.
As provided under Article 2.11, the selection of venue for the Finals was made by PFL based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, venue availability, commercial, marketing, and financial considerations. After due consideration and inspection of the Rizal Memorial Stadium, the PFL decided to hold the Finals in Pana-ad and Park Stadium which had also hosted international events such as the AFC Cup and the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers.
Tickets will be available at all SM Tickets outlets starting tomorrow 12 December 2017.
PFL Chief Executive Officer Lazarus J. Xavier congratulated the two teams in the final and offered his commiserations to the teams that will battle in the Third and Fourth match, and at the same time urged the fans to come to Pana-ad Park and Stadium to watch the final.
“We congratulate everyone that is involved with the Finals Series. May this occasion mark another historic moment in the ever growing landscape of Philippine football. I wish all the teams in the Final and Third and Fourth match the best of the luck and we hope to see everyone come Friday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium for the Third and Fourth match and on Saturday at the Pana-ad Park and Stadium for the Final where we will crown the inaugural PFL Champions.”
The Philippines' begin their final quest for the Women's World Cup in 2019 with a good draw for the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup that was held yesterday in Amman, Jordan.
Underneath the Dead Sea, Richard Boon's Malditas rode with immense luck in pot 4 as they avoid the trio of South Korea, Australia and defending Asian queens Japan as they are drawn with Vietnam in Group B.
Instead, they are placed in Group A along with China, Thailand and the tournament hosts in whom they will face in their opener on April 6 next year.
Also unveiled on draw date was the tournament logo, as AFC opted to go superheroine for the tournament hosts who are flying the flag alone for the Middle East sides.
After a fifteen year wait since their last Asian Cup appearance, the 70th-ranked Malditas eye revenge not just on the Jordanians for their thrashing in Tajikistan during the qualifiers, but also with the 1983 champions in a rematch of their controversial qualifier in Bangladesh in which an offside flag practically gave the Thais a free ride to Canada.
In the tournament that will serve as the final round of Asian qualifiers, five teams will booking their flight to Paris in 2019: four semifinalists and the winner between the third-placed teams in a playoff.
MANILA--Having to essentially play back-to-back road games because of the unavailability of the Cebu City Sports Complex for the first leg, fourth-seeded Global Cebu had its back against the wall versus top-seeded Meralco Manila.
A late goal in the second leg got the Visayan side out of the woods.
Rufo Sanchez silenced the Rizal Memorial Stadium as his late goal forced a 1-1 draw in the second game of their PFL semifinal series on Saturday night.
The draw, however, means Cebu's 2-1 first leg win in its credited home game was the difference of the two-legged affair as the club clinched one of the two spots in the championship game next Saturday via a 3-2 aggregate win.
Manila was actually just nine minutes away from preserving its top seed as the club pressed Cebu defensively right after Curt Dizon put the designated host club, which had the away goal advantage, ahead in the third minute of play.
But Sanchez's 85th minute goal off a miscue from Tyler Matas forced the 1-1 deadlock.
Manila still had one final crack to force extra time, but Simon Greatwich dished out a bad pass with just seconds left in the four-minute second half stoppage time, passing the ball to nobody as he thought a teammate will try to go through the left side of the goal.
Cebu will take on Negros, which took a 2-1 win in its own semis Game 2 against Makati to seal the series win, in the final.
Iain Ramsay's second half goal kept Negros afloat after Woody Ugarte's late first half goal provided some scare as the club won, 3-1, on aggregate.
Bienve Marañon struck first for Negros as he headed in a 30th minute goal.
Ugarte, however, tied the match--and in the process giving Makati a crucial away goal--as he scored a 43rd minute putback after Miguel Tanton's free kick was saved by Roland Muller only to end up at the feet of Ugarte.
Ramsay sealed the win with a 73rd minute attack from way out.
MANILA, Philippines – It's FC Meralco Manila versus Global Cebu on a mouthwatering Saturday night battle for survival.
The match on December 9, 7 pm in Rizal Memorial is the second leg of a two-legged, aggregate goals semi-final encounter to decide who makes the Philippines Football League final on December 16. Global has the slimmest of leads thanks to a first-leg 2-1 conquest last December 2.
However, Manila also has an advantage. Despite the fact that stadium unavailability forced both games to be played in Manila, the Cebuanos were still technically the “away” team, and Tahj Minniecon's goal for Meralco last Saturday counts as an away goal. Thus a 1-0 result this coming Saturday means a 2-2 aggregate score and the Sparks gaining a berth in the Final on away goals.
A 2-1 win by Meralco on Saturday means the match will go into extra time and if necessary, penalties. Apart from that score, every other result on Saturday means the series will be concluded after 90 minutes.
In the other semifinal this Saturday, Ceres Negros, which edged Kaya Makati 1-0 in their first leg last Saturday, are the hosts for leg 2, also at 7 pm.
The Sparks are determined to make amends for the late meltdown last Saturday that saw late strikes by Wes Dos Santos and Hikaru Minegishi give Cebu the win.
“We finished on top of the league for a reason,” says defender Joaco Cañas. “They scored two goals but overall we were the better team. If we can fix the mistakes and read the game better then we can make it to the final, but it won't be easy.”
Captain Simon Greatwich also expressed his frustration but was pleased with the performance of the squad as a whole.
“I was happy with how we played. The work rate, the heart. We just didn't kill the game off, so we were punished.”
Greatwich was coy about the strategy Manila would approach for the contest.
“We will try a few variations in training this week. In the game we will have to see how Global set up. But we don't want to concede, we also have to be cautious. We also need to be clinical with our chances.”
Meralco coach Aris Caslib agrees with Greatwich, saying, “we just have to prepare for all possible approaches of Global,” but asserts that first and foremost, “we have to stop their transition and control the front players.”
The match is doubly important since the winner not only reaches the final but will also get a slot in the AFC Cup reserved for the two best PFL clubs. One team could even possibly reach the top-tier AFC Champions League, should it squeak through a qualifying phase.
The AFC Cup is an international club competition that in the past few years Global, Kaya, and Ceres have played in. No Filipino club has ever qualified for the AFC Champions League, where the strongest Asian clubs from the best Asian nations play.
It appears that the third-placer in the PFL may also have a chance to play in the AFC Cup.
The vaunted Meralco defense of Milan Nikolic, Lee Jeong Min and Joaco Cañas will need to be in form to corral an array of Global weapons, namely Minegishi, Rufo Sanchez, and Darryl Roberts. Paolo Salenga, who came off the bench to assist on the Minegishi goal, is also a major threat.
Meanwhile Caslib's own arsenal, consisting of strikers Curt Dizon, Minniecon, and Connor Tacagni, will be under pressure to perform.
Tickets for the game will be P20 for bleachers and P50 for the grandstand. Tickets will be available at the gate. Fans and media are advised to enter via the P. Ocampo gate since the Adriatico gate of Rizal Memorial will be closed. The match will be livestreamed on this link.– Rappler.com