Powerhouse teams United City, Kaya-Iloilo drawn to separate groups in Copa Paulino Alcantara

Published October 28, 2021, 2:41 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from PFL

United City and Kaya-Iloilo were drawn to separate groups for the Copa Paulino Alcantara which starts Nov. 7 at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

UCFC will play in Group A alongside Stallion-Laguna and new club Dynamic Herb-Cebu while Kaya is joined by the Azkals Development Team and Mendiola FC 1991 in Group B.

The two clubs in each group advance to the knockout semis while the bottom teams meet in a Plate match.

The final of the tournament named after the late FC Barcelona great Paulino Alcantara is set Nov. 19 while the semifinal losers meet for third place.

The Copa will make its return after a one-year hiatus following the cancellation of the Philippines Football League season which encountered numerous delays due government restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kaya claimed the inaugural event in 2018 before UCFC won it in 2019 when it was still known as Ceres-Negros.

It is yet to be determined how the AFC slots will be determined with the Copa as the only competition on the domestic front.

PFL champions are nominated to gain a direct slot in the AFC Champions League while the Copa winner will play in the AFC Cup if it fails to secure an ACL berth through the qualifying stages.

Last year, United City gained a spot in the Champions League following its PFL triumph while runner-up Kaya was given a berth in the qualifiers.

Kaya eventually joined UCFC in the ACL group stage after beating Chinese Super League side Shanghai Port in a playoff last June.