By Jerome S. Galunan Jr. WATCHMEN DAILY JOURNAL/SCOOP-Bacolod
NEW breed of homegrown football talents from Negros Occidental are again expected to take the challenge when the 2012 Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) Provincial Championships kick off this March with three major football qualifying tournaments, namely: the U23 Suzuki Cup, U16 National Championship and U19 national Championship.
NOFA Secretary-General Pauline Javelona yesterday disclosed that four teams will be competing in the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Qualifying rounds for the U23 Suzuki Cup which is scheduled today, March 6, at the Ayala North football pitch.
The teams, to compete in the March 6-10 tournament, are the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R), University of St. La Salle – Bacolod (Ceres-La Salle), West Negros University (WNU) and the La Carlota City Football Club.
The Negros team, bankrolled by Ceres, is the defending U23 Suzuki PFF National Cup champion. This after the local squad defeated Iloilo team in a home and away finals last year. That was 1-all in an away game and 9-nil at home.
Meanwhile, the U23 Suzuki Cup –Visayas Qualifying will simultaneously kick off on March 18 at the Silliman University football field in Dumaguete Cty and Leyte Sports Complex in Leyte on a home and away format.
Playing at the Silliman pitch will be NOFA facing host-Negros Oriental Football Association (NORFA) while Leyte FA defending its turf against Cebu FA.
The home matches for NOFA are scheduled on April 21, May 7, 12 and 28 with Panaad Stadium as the squad’s home pitch.
Javelona explained that the U23 qualifying matches were shifted to Ayala North pitch as the Panaad Stadium will not be available during these scheduled games due to the preparation for the western Visayas Regional Athletic Meet set March 12-16, 2012.
On the other hand, Qualifying Rounds for the U16 and U19 National Championships will be on March 24 at the Panaad Stadium.*