By Jean Malanun (PNA)
MANILA – Kaya FC-Iloilo will try to keep its winning form when the Philippines Football League (PFL) 2022-2023 season presented by Qatar Airways resumes next month.
Kaya FC-Iloilo, sporting a 10-2 (win-loss) record, will host Dynamic Herb Cebu FC in the tournament's first out-of-town match at the Iloilo Sports Complex on Feb. 19.
Mendiola FC 1991 will be up against United City FC and Maharlika Manila FC will battle Stallion Laguna FC on Feb. 18. The kickoff schedule will be announced soon.
The first half of the season featured 39 matches, including two which are under deliberation by the tournament committee.
Kaya FC-Iloilo is on top of the standings with 30 points. United City is in second place with 24 points while Dynamic Herb Cebu is third with 21 points.
The Azkals Development Team and Stallion Laguna have identical 15 points followed by Mendiola (6 points) and Maharlika Manila (1 point).
For the first time since 2019, games were played out of town with Kaya nipping United City, 2-1, at the Iloilo Sports Complex on Nov. 12 last year. Dynamic Herb Cebu battled Kaya and United City at the Dynamic HERB Sports Complex in Talisay, Cebu, while United City FC debuted at the New Clark City Athletics Stadium against Azkals Development Team and Stallion Laguna.
“The Philippines Football League has already made its return to the domestic football scene last year and we are delighted to have witnessed league matches already played in front of capacity crowds in Iloilo and in Cebu. We hope that this trend reinvigorates fan support when the second half of league action kicks off next month," said Philippine Football Federation (PFF) President Mariano Araneta in a news release on Monday.
The second half of the PFL will run from Feb. 18 to June 11 with 43 matches.
“We have a tight season ahead of us in the second half of the league season. We have seen clubs host their league matches in their respective nominated home venues, and this will result in increased visibility and fan support this season,” remarked PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes.
The PFF has announced last December the staging of the Copa Paulino Alcantara to be participated by 16 teams, with 60 matches scheduled from June to September.
In preparation for the tournament, the PFF will invite qualified and interested clubs/teams in the coming weeks. There will also be a workshop to discuss match organizational matters.
“The expansion of the upcoming Copa Paulino Alcantara is a much-needed shot in the arm to elevate the domestic club football scene. More teams mean more matches and football experience,” said PFL Commissioner Mikhail Torre.
“The expanded Cup shall serve as a benchmark on the quality of football amongst professional and amateur clubs and we hope to further grow the football pyramid in the near future," he added. (PNA)