What it means for Davao Aguilas to win the Copa Paulino Alcantara

August 30, 2018

Now that the league has come to a close, Davao Aguilas, as well as all the other clubs, will be looking at the Copa Paulino Alcantara as a major tournament as this will be the gateway to AFC Cup 2019. Paulino Alcantara is a Filipino football legend who used to play for FC Barcelona and once held the record of most goals for the club before Lionel Messi took over this past year. Not to mention, Alcantara also played here in the Philippines where he was seen suiting up for Bohemian Sporting Club. The winners will secure a group-stage slot that each club is focused on achieving. Although Ceres has already qualified by winning the league, they will most likely want to add to their silverware collection. If Ceres wins the cup too, Kaya will be the team to claim the 2nd slot for the AFC Cup, as 2nd placers in the league.

“Looking back in the season, I’m seeing a group of players working hard on and off the pitch, for the club and the fans,” said Coach Leigh Manson.

The group stages of the Copa Paulino Alcantara will have 2 groups of 3 teams, having a double-round robin home-and-away format. A minimum of 4 games per team, playing each club in their respective groups twice before the top 2 clubs in the group proceed to the knockout stages, where we will see the 1st seed of Group A face the 2nd seed of Group B and vice-versa.

Davao is on a good-run of form as they are unbeaten in 7 games in the league since July 18. The club will look to carry-over this form in the Copa Paulino Alcantara as they look to qualify for the AFC by winning the cup.

“We have beaten every club this season so we have as good a chance as anyone once we are in the final. We do have a tough group but I like the challenge but can’t afford any slip ups,” added Coach Manson.

Patrick Deyto added during the post-match presscon between Davao and Stallion last August 22, “I want this club to taste success and in order to achieve that, we have to win the cup to qualify for the AFC.”

When asked about the club’s preparation for the cup, Coach Manson was quick to respond, “We prepare as normal. We don’t take anyone lightly. We are professional in all our game preparation. Players are working hard before each fixture on and off the pitch.”

Davao Aguilas are grouped with Ceres Negros and Stallion Laguna in Group A while Kaya Iloilo found themselves grouped with Global Cebu and JPV Marikina in Group B.

Most games will be played in Rizal Memorial Stadium while some will be played in Binan Football Stadium and PFF National Training Centre in Carmona. The clubs and the LFI have come to an agreement to play all the group stages in Manila while moving it to the respective home stadiums once it reaches the knockout phase. The finals will still be played in Rizal Memorial Stadium as this is the national stadium of the country and it will be a neutral ground, so-to-speak.

Indeed, this Copa Paulino Alcantara will be a very exciting tournament as each club will get the chance to qualify for a major club tournament.

The first matches is set to be played on September 1 with Kaya playing Global at 4pm in RMS and Ceres playing Davao at 7pm in RMS as well.