PFL targets April opening with return of Copa Paulino Alcantara

Published January 17, 2021, 12:10 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Three players from Kaya-Iloilo take part in passing drill during the resumption of PFL training sessions at the National Training Centre in Carmona, Cavite. (PFL photo)

The Philippines Football League plans to start its domestic competitions this year with the return of the Copa Paulino Alcantara.

Provided it gets the green light from government agencies without any delays, the PFL said it plans to stage the annual cup competition in April before proceeding with the more prestigious league season in June.

The Copa was scrapped last year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the PFL to hold a shortened league season that ended in November with United City emerging as champion.

PFL clubs welcomed the planned calendar as it aims to slowly get themselves back in fitness.

“The earlier we can start, the better,” said United City CEO Eric Gottschalk.

“We’re all one here in wanting to play sooner rather than later,” said Kaya-Iloilo general manager Paul Tolentino. “The right setup must be agreed by all the stakeholders and having the Cup will allow us more preparation and active competition.”

Read: United City wins PFL crown

Ceres-Negros won the last edition of the Copa Paulino Alcantara at the expense of Kaya in Nov. 2019, completing the first league and cup double in the PFL era.

Kaya took home the inaugural Copa in 2018 with a victory over the defunct Davao Aguilas in the Final.

The champion of the competition named after Barcelona legend Paulino Alcantara will earn a spot in the AFC Cup, Asia’s second-tier club tourney.