Will home game be an advantage? This will be tested and proved as Negros Occidental Football Association’s Ceres Football Club, PFF-Smart Club Championship Visayas leader, plays a tough first game assignment against 2012 UFL Cup’s champion Stallion FC on Sunday, January 13, at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
Ceres FC carries an impressive record in the regional qualifying last year by beating Queen City FC of Cebu, 1-nil, on Aldrin Dolino’s lone goal in the 71st minute while it demolished Leyte FC, 10-0, with Korean Yoon Byeong Jun and Dolino spearheading Ceres with three goals apiece.
Against the Stallions, the host squad will banner keepers Korean Hyoun Jae Hun and Jurex Replentes; skipper Jason Cordova, Lemuel Unabia, Antony, Abelardo Solinas, Jose Emmanuel Diel, Bagiuoro, Dolino, Jayson Panhay, Joel Bedia, Treyes, Richard Sumabong, Angelo Bahoyan, John Timothy Bolo, Joshua Beloya, and Koreans Choi Gun Hee, Yoon, Yu Young Jin, Hyoun Jae Hun, Kim Jung Mook, and Sim Hyoung Min.
Directing the Ceres-La Salle squad is veteran coach Freddie “Nene” Lazarito while assisting him are Korean Cha Soung Yooung, Ramon Janeo and Ali Go. Team managers are siblings Ricardo and Leo Rey Yanson.
On the other hand, the Ernie Nierras-mentored Stallions are likewise expected to come out big following a 2-1 stunning victory over the more favored and league powerhouse Global FC, during the recent UFL Cup finals at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
The champion squad is anticipated to be boosted by veteran booters from Barotac Nuevo led by Ruben Doctora as well as several Korean nationals and Spanish striker Rufo Sanchez from Spanish third division side Internacionale de Madrid CF.
Completing the Group A side are NOFA’s Ceres FC, Queen City FC of Cebu City, Pasargad FC, M’Lang FC, Flame United FC, Baguio United FC, Romgarjal FC, and Nomads FC.
Group B is composed of the Stallion FC of Iloilo City alongside Pachanga FC, Philippine Army FC, Kaya FC, Loyola FC, Gen. Trias International FC, Green Archers United FC and Global FC./WDJ