SCP: PHI Under-23 Football Preparations Underway

By John Paul Manahan

Preparations for the Southeast Asian Games have begun in earnest with a club friendly taking place at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium between the Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Men’s National Under-23 Football Team, who will be representing the flag in Jakarta this coming November.

The club friendly ended in favor of the Azkals, 4-2, with Diliman Victory Liner FC’s Gerard Valmayor scoring a hat trick and Global FC’s David Basa providing the other goal. As for the Air Force, Senior National Team stalwart Ian Araneta and Aubrey Amantonio provided the scoring.

Germany-based Patrick Hinrichsen and Mark Drinkuth and Netherlands-based Jason de Jong managed to get some field work in the friendly, while Global FC’s Paolo Pascual tended to the net as MSV Duisburg’s Roland Müller has not yet arrived in the country. Also not present is FC Ingolstadt II’s midfielder Manny Ott, who assured us on Twitter that he will be playing come November.

The team would then continue their preparations at Gotemba, Japan next week. Out of the thirty-five players that SoccerCentral Philippines previously posted in an article detailing the national under-23 pool, thirty will be participating. Based from there, the twenty players who will comprise the SEAG roster will be named. Gotemba is where the senior national team had their camp before their AFC Challenge Cup match against Mongolia earlier this year.

The football event of the Southeast Asian Games will take place in Jakarta on November 3, much earlier than the opening ceremonies, which is scheduled on November 11. Here forth below are the schedules of Group B, where the Philippines is bracketed in. (all times noted are in Philippine time)

November 3: 5pm versus Vietnam (Stadion Utama Gelora Bung Karno)

November 7: 5pm versus Timor Leste (Lebak Bulus Stadium)

November 11: 5pm versus Laos (Lebak Bulus Stadium)

November 13: 5pm versus Myanmar (Lebak Bulus Stadium)

November 15: 8pm versus Brunei Darussalam (Lebak Bulus Stadium)

Provided the country finishes as one of the top two teams, they will play two more matches. The first one will be on the 19th (5pm & 830pm). The winners on those two particular matches will face each other for the gold medal on the 21st (830pm), whilst the losers will be going for the bronze on the same date (5pm). To answer the question on how can people watch? Both ABS-CBN Sports and TV5 (via AkTV) have been showing advertisments indicating that they are broadcasting the SEA Games, but no details as to which sports will one cover. That includes football.

Published in Soccer Central Philippines