PFL delegation enters battlefield

Published October 21, 2020, 10:54 PM

by Jonas Terrado


Teams, officials and staff of the Philippines Football League made their way inside the bubble, three days before the league kicks off its shortened fourth season on Sunday at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

All participants, most notably the players from all six clubs, underwent swab tests upon their arrival at the Seda Nuvali Hotel in Sta. Rosa, Laguna on Wednesday as part of protocols approved by the Joint Administrative Order.

Everyone must yield negative results before preparations for the Qatar Airways-backed competition can resume.

“Hopefully, none of them will test positive as practice begins on Friday and Saturday,” said PFL commissioner Coco Torre.

Only five matchdays will be held for the upcoming PFL season after initial plans of having a four-team playoff dubbed as the “Finals Series” was scrapped in favor of a traditional league format.

Guest club Azkals Development Team faces Mendiola in the season’s first match at 9 a.m. followed by Kaya-Iloilo against Stallion-Laguna at 4:30 p.m. and United City opposite newcomer Maharlika-Manila at 8 p.m.

Matches on Oct. 28 will have Stallion-Maharlika (9 a.m.), Mendiola-United City (4:30 p.m.) and Kaya-ADT (8 p.m.) while Oct. 31 has United City-ADT (9 a.m.), Mendiola-Stallion (4:30 p.m.) and Kaya-Maharlika (8 p.m.).

The last two playdates see Kaya-Mendiola (9 a.m.), Maharlika-ADT (4:30 p.m.) and United City-Stallion (8 p.m.) on Nov. 3 and Stallion-ADT (9 a.m.), Maharlika-Mendiola (4:30 p.m.) and United City-Kaya (8 p.m.) on Nov. 5.

Assistant coach Richard Leyble, a native of Koronadal City, will call the shots for Stallion-Laguna in its first two games.

“It has been a long journey but we are finally here for the opening of the 2020 edition of the PFL,” said Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta. “This is much-needed competition for both our teams and football fans who have waited for so long to see their favorite players in action once again.”