Cebu has yet to release its full lineup but skipper Baris Tasci said the club retained about 80 percent of the players who suited up last year, but lost key player Ricky Sendra to United City. Mendiola is eager to rebound from a disappointing Copa run that saw the Los Valientes lose both group stage matches by a combined score of 15-0. Long-time mainstay Hamed Hajimahdi said Mendiola has beefed up its lineup by tapping some of the players from the 2019 squad that reached the Copa semis. Maharlika, which made its debut in the shortened 2020 Philippines Football League season, returns after skipping last year with the brothers OJ, Gino and Miggy Clarino as major additions. The seven teams will play a single-round elimination with the top four advancing to the knockout semifinals.
Kaya-Iloilo is aiming to retain the title it won in November against the rest of the field that includes the Azkals Development Team, Stallion-Laguna, Dynamic Herb Cebu, Mendiola FC 1991 and returning clubs United City and Maharlika-Manila. Despite a busy offseason that saw the signings of former ADT players Jarvey Gayoso, Sandro Reyes, Oskari Kekkonen and Mar Diano, coach Yu Hoshide admitted that Kaya remains a work in progress despite its tag as one, if not, the title favorites. “We added some ADT players, but six players left the team so it’s clearly a new team, ” Hoshide said in a virtual press conference held Saturday afternoon. “We’re facing really good competition so we cannot relax. ” Perhaps its biggest challenger is United City, which at the last minute skipped the Copa after dealing with legal issues concerning its arrangement with former license holder Ceres-Negros.
Their youth system, headed by former Kaya coach and Azkals legend Chris Greatwich, is also thriving, providing the club with a potential pipeline of quality players without needing to spend big to buy. While other teams try to outspend each other, newly-formed Maharlika FC, composed of former Azkal greats Anton del Rosario and Misagh Bahadoran, has taken the opposite route. In true personification of the mantra ‘for the love of the game’, all members of Maharlika FC will not be receiving salaries initially, but are playing ‘for the love and the passion of the sport’. While it will be folly to expect all players to play for free, the days of clubs relying on a single benefactor to fund the team might be a thing of the past, at least in Philippine football. “No club can survive for long without a sustainable value-based model, ” explains Archers’ Garcia.
At its peak in 2013, there were ten teams in the both the first and second divisions, with a promotion and relegation setup in place. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got, and things would go downhill from there on in. In 2012 and 2014, the Azkals were favorites to reach the Suzuki Cup final. However on both occasions, a combination of poor preparation, general inexperience, and bad luck would see the Azkals get knocked out in the semi-finals. Would the sport have had a second renaissance had the Azkals won the Suzuki Cup? Certainly a new injection of interest, money, and sponsors would have been on the cards.
But with costs substantially lower, teams still continued to fold, with Ilocos United, Meralco Manila, Davao Aguilas and now Ceres Negros biting the proverbial dust. Observers highlighted the dangers of having a single entity owning the team, with the team in danger should the single principal withdraw.
“We ended on a high last year compared to how we started in 2020, so hopefully 2022 would be the year we break into the AFC slots, ” coach Ernie Nierras said. ADT will be parading players who’ll likely suit up for the national U-23 team in the Vietnam Southeast Asian Games, and newly-appointed coach Norman Fegidero said the Copa stint is not just a mere buildup for the biennial meet. “We joined the cup to compete, not only for exposure. I want my team to win games, ” he said.
Despite being bankrolled by one of the country’s leading businessmen, Kaya FC resisted the urge to spend big, instead always insisting on spending wisely and prudently. While it meant that throughout the years a lot of their star players have been poached by other clubs, financial prudence has meant that the club is healthy and well. Participation in the AFC Cup in three of the last five years is proof enough of the club’s success.
The Philippines Football League (PFL), boasting of eight teams from all over the Philippines, was to be the answer to lift Philippine football out of its doldrums. While the UFL held games primarily in one central venue, the PFL will feature home and away matches with previously untapped places like Ilocos, Davao, and Laguna, to be used. Critics were quick to point out the monumental expenses of traveling the whole length and breadth of the Philippines with no evident plan to make back the money.
” But, for a few glorious years, the PFL attracted home fans who packed the stadium in numbers. It was a case of ‘build it and they will come. ’ And from Davao to Bacolod to Ilocos, local football fans got to watch top quality football action in their doorstep. Sustainability was the only problem. True enough, the home and away concept was ditched only after two years, and the league, opted for a smaller but ultimately more sustainable system where games were to be played in one central venue, much like what the UFL did.
There would be minor victories along the way, but with the Azkals inability to capture the Suzuki Cup or the AFC Challenge Cup, which would have given the country its first ever Asian Cup appearance, football gradually lost its luster and appeal. Coinciding with this decline in popularity was the termination of the five-year TV deal in 2016. By then, the UFL were down to a single division of twelve teams, three of which would withdraw mid-season. Attendances were primarily composed of friends and family, and in some games the TV crew filming the delayed telecast of the game would outnumber the other people in the grandstand. Thus, there wasn’t a massive outpouring of grief when the UFL made way for a nationwide league, even getting partially involved in the conceptualisation and planning of the country-wide Philippines Football League.
Recent days saw United City announcing the additions of Amirbek Juraboev, JJ Robertson and ex-ADT member Ivan Ouano while retaining Mike Ott, Mark Hartmann and Anthony Pinthus, among the players in last year’s AFC Champions League. But United City also lost naturalized striker Bienvenido Marañon who is now with Malaysian Super League powerhouse Johor Da’rul Tazim while Stephan Schrock’s status remains unknown at the moment. “We lost a lot of our star players.
Defending champions Ceres Negros is a perfect case in point. Despite dominating the local football scene and winning the AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Championships in 2017, team owner Leo Rey Yanson was forced to give up his beloved Ceres Negros team, with a family dispute and COVID-19 wreaking havoc on his business empire. The team now has new owners and has rebranded into United City Football Club, with most key players retained. The new owners have come out with the right words, stating that they will make it sure that the club will not be dependent on one entity for survival, as was the case for Ceres. There are, however, examples of teams who have thrived under this model.
“Clubs that can’t provide relative value to their stakeholders, like the fans, players, owners, sponsors, community are only short-term ego projects. ” Stallion, Mendiola and guest team Azkals Development Team join United City, Kaya and Maharlika to comprise the six team Philippines Football League, with the champions getting an automatic slot to the AFC Champions League and the runners up going into the playoffs.
PFL Season 2022/23 - Kaya FC-Iliolo vs. Azkals - YouTube 4,780 views Streamed live on Aug 7, 2022 Domestic football marks its return as Kaya FC-Iloilo and Azkals Development Team duke it out in
Eager to catch on to the next big thing, fans trooped to the stadium as the league – and the sport – came to life. Live TV coverage was the norm, with four games being shown live on a leading TV network on the weekend. Once relegated to weekend corporate matches and one day football festivals, local Philippine football was back.
Azkals Development Team - Kaya FC–Iloilo 31 Oct 20, 8:00 pm, PFL, Kaya FC–Iloilo v Azkals Development Team You can also watch LIVE online via @WeArePFL's Facebook and YouTube
Football. Ceres-Negros FC - result and match statistics, online Match: Ceres-Negros FC - Azkals Development Team. Live. Result and current score. August 27, 2022 - 04:30