Asean tilt stint for Ceres-Negros up
Already the country’s bet in the AFC Champions League, Philippines Football League champion Ceres-Negros could have one more international tournament scheduled this year in the Asean Football Federation Club Championship.
Scheduled to start in May, the competition will feature 12 of the finest teams in the region with Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta announcing that the Busmen will be nominated as the representative of the country following its victory in the PFL last season.
But Ceres will need to go through a qualifying stage against clubs from Cambodia, Brunei, Laos and Timor Leste just to make the group phase of the tournament held for the first time since 2005.
“We’re looking forward to this competition to really test our level compared to other clubs in some of the biggest leagues in the region,” said Ceres club administrator Nicolas Golez. “We see this as another great opportunity to represent the country.
It’s one of the reasons why we’re really strengthening the squad for next season.
”Thai League champion Chiang Rai and Thai Cup winner Prachuap already gained outright berths to the tournament together with Vietnamese League titlist Hanoi and runner-up Ho Chi Minh City.
Liga Indonesia champion Bali United and Persebaya Surabaya are also entered, along with Myanmar League winner Shan United, the top two teams from Malaysia and another team from the Singapore League.
Ceres, which signed former national team player Josh Grommen to shore up its defense, starts its AFC Champions League preliminary stage campaign against Shan United on Jan. 14 at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
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