High-caliber football action returns to Bacolod tomorrow as Negros Occidental’s pride Ceres FC battles against United Football League champion Stallion in the PFF – Smart National Club Championship Round of 16 at the Panaad Stadium. Match will start at 5 p.m.
Ceres head coach Freddie ‘Nene’ Lazarito said his team is ready to face the formidable lineup of Stallion that include Azkals midfielder Jason de Jong, Spanish players Joaquin Garcia and Rufino Sanchez, and a list of highly-skilled players from Iloilo.
Garce and Sanchez, who signed with the Stallion last year, are on loan from Spanish third division side CF Internacional de Madrid.
Lazarito said it will be an exciting game as they also have in Ceres’ uniform Azkals’ Joshua Beloya and British striker Peter Long, defender Danny Claxton, and midfielder Daniel Sandoval.
On paper, Stallion and Ceres are evenly matched with topnotch Korean players playing in both sides.
Ceres advanced to the Round of 16 after claiming the top spot in regional qualifying last year in San Carlos City, beating the Cebu Queen City United FC, 1-0, and Leyte FC, 10-0.
Stallion, on the other hand, rides high on its UFL crown and is known for its precise one-touch passing that carried the team past Global FC in the final.
Lazarito said the home advantage is a big plus for his team in tomorrow’s game against Stallion, while coach Ernest Nierras is expected to rely on his team’s teamwork, composure and its “Stallion-style” brand of play.
Ceres listed Louie Michael Casas and Korean Hyoun Jae Jun as goalkeepers for tomorrows game, Abelardo Solinas Jr., Jason Panhay, J. Baguioro, Beloya, Joel Bedia Jr., Kim Jung Mook, Choi Gun Hee, Rolando Ian Treyes, and Sandoval for midfield, Lemuel Unabia, John Timothy Bolo, Sim Hyung Min, Richard Sumabong, Anthony Tongson, Jose Emmanuel Thomas Diel, Claxton, and Park Keon Hyeong as defenders.
Strikers for Ceres are Long, Yoon Byeong Jun, Hanesin Prince Antony, Jaime Poderoso Jr., and Jemuel Ariola.
Ramon Janeo will assist Lazarito as assistant coach, with Ali Go listed as team manager. Going out of their way to support the team are brothers Ricky and Leo Rey Yanson.
Aside from De Jong, Garcia and Sanchez, listed in the lineup of Stallion are goalkeepers Wilson Muñoz and Louie Jay Sobrevega, midfields Andrew Bryan Peterson, Antonio Albor Jr., Lee Won Hyung, Park Bo Bae, Jhenver Vergara, Kim Il Hyo, Romeo Martinez Jr., defenders Bervic Italia, Nam Yeul Woo, Nathaniel Boblo, Pi Yong Jae, Kim Da Bin, and attackers Ruben Doctora, Jimmy Vergara Jr., Jomar Lestingio, Lee Joo Young, and Vice Chester Braga. Also in Stallions’ roster are Jeremy Taylong Hohn, and Cyrus Andre Mohseni.
Joining Nierras in the coaching staff are Richard Bedia and Dr. Pee Hyeun Hyung.*NAB
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