Azkals leave for Singapore to complete Suzuki Cup prep

Published December 1, 2021, 2:05 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from PFF

Manila-based members of the Philippine Azkals left for Singapore Wednesday, Dec. 1 to set up final preparations for their AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 campaign which starts next week.

Mike Ott, Oskari Kekkonen, Kenshiro Daniels and Sandro Reyes were among the players who took a Philippine Airlines flight for the Lion City where they’ll undergo a quarantine period before being allowed to train.

Coach Scott Cooper is also part of the contingent along with his staff that includes Noel Marcaida and Norman Fegidero, best remembered for his role in the Philippines’ upset of Malaysia in the 1991 Southeast Asian Games.

Other players such as Stephan Schrock, naturalized player Bienvenido Maranon and Kevin Mendoza, who had just helped Kuala Lumpur City win the Malaysia Cup, will follow suit through different flights from countries where they are currently based.

Players, coaches and staff were required an entry permit by the Singaporean government as part of measures to prevent a possible COVID-19 outbreak.

All 10 nations that will take part in the pandemic-delayed Suzuki Cup are going to observe a bubble for the duration of the competition which begins Sunday, Dec. 5.

The Azkals are in Group A along with five-time winner Thailand, host and four-time champion Singapore, Myanmar and Timor-Leste.

In Group B are defending titleholder Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia Cambodia and Laos.

The group stage last until Dec. 19 with the semis set Dec. 22 to 26 and the two-legged finals scheduled Dec. 29 and on New Year’s Day 2022.