BACOLOD CITY, April 7 (PNA) — Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA)-Ceres is determined in defending their championship title in this year’s Philippine Football Federation (PFF)-Suzuki National Under-23 Cup.
NOFA-Ceres will first see action during the Visayas Regional Qualifying Round set on April 15-20 in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.
Winning in the qualifying round is crucial for it will be their ticket to advance to the finals on May 20-25 in Cebu City.
Prior to it, however, they will still have to fight against the top two teams from Luzon and Mindanao in the semifinals.
NOFA-Ceres will be banking on its striker Gerardo Valmayor III, Timothy Bolo, J Baguioro, John Vendel Marcellana, Joel Bedia and Ryan Lirio, Rey Mark Fernandez, and Anthony Tongson.
Keepers John Robert Mendoza, Jimuel Ariola, and Joshua Beloya and skipper Jimmy Malalo-an Jr.have to maintain their strength and agility.
Notably Valmayor of San Carlos City, Beloya and Fernandez of Victorias City were part of the national team Azkals U23 squad that saw action in the last SEA Games in Indonesia.
PFF Competition Department Head Cyril Dofitas said a double round-robin format will be applied in the regional matches with the top two teams advancing to the semifinals.
In the semifinals and finals, on the other hand, will use a home-and-away format to determine the champion, he said. (PNA)