KAYA FUTBOL Club-Iloilo aims for a title repeat when it faces regional rival Ceres-Negros FC in the Philippines Football League – Copa Paulino Alcantara finals today at the Biñan Football Stadium in Laguna.
Kaya-Iloilo head coach Noel Marcaida said they are motivated to retain the Copa title aside from pulling one back against its rival after the Negrenses swept their four matches with the Ilonggos in the League.
“We use the day off after the semifinals game to recover and analyze the other semis game and do all the necessary preparations for the finals,” Marcaida said. “We put emphasis on details to improve our game moving on to the finals.”
Marcaida added that the team will still have the same mindset even if the Busmen will be playing minus veterans Stephan Schrock, Carlos de Murga, Jose Elmer Porteria Mike Ott, and Sean Kane.
Schrock, Ott, Porteria, De Murga, and Kane were called up for the Philippine Azkals in the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup joint qualification game against Maldives and Syria.
“No matter who will be filled in by Ceres-Negros, the mindset will still be the same,” Marcaida said. “It is playing against Ceres-Negros, not playing against an individual player.”
“Even if they do not have their mainstays on Saturday, there are still Ceres-Negros players that are playing in the finals. And those who will be playing for them also have something to prove so we expect a challenging match.”
Kaya-Iloilo reached the championship round after blanking Mendiola FC, 3-0, while the three-peat League champions Ceres-Negros escaped with a 4-3 win over Green Archers United FC.
Bacolod Tay Tung High School Thunderbolts are determined to go all out for its fourth straight title in the NOPSSCEA secondary girls volleyball when they face St. John’s Institute Lady Falcons in the finals on Saturday.
Thunderbolts middle blocker Joan Marie Monares said the team’s senior players were determined to deliver the goods as they hope to represent Western Visayas anew in Palarong Pambansa.
“The goal is really to be given a chance to represent Western Visayas anew in Palarong Pambansa especially for me since this is my final year,” Monares said. “That starts by trying to win the NOPSSCEA title again.”
“We will give our best again sa finals this Saturday so that ‘yung mga hard work namin sa practice mag payoff,” added the Bacolod City-native, who is receiving offers to play for University of the Philippines Lady Maroons in UAAP.
Aside from Monares, also playing their final year for the Thunderbolts were team captain Shane Carmona, Rhean Almendralejo, Alyssa Bertolano, and Kiesha Bedonia.
The Thunderbolts will enter the championship round on Saturday with a twice-to-beat incentive for sweeping the elimination round./PN