FC Meralco Manila and Global Cebu FC set their sights on the inaugural crown as the Finals Series of the Philippines Football League (PFL) begins today at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
The No. 1 Sparks and the No. 4 People’s Club square off in the first leg of their semifinals faceoff at 7 p.m.
After 28 matches in the elimination round, Meralco Manila finished on the top spot as it amassed 58 points built on 17 wins and seven draws against a league-low four losses.
Meralco head coach Aris Caslib said they would take this semifinals series one match at a time.
“We will focus on this game and see if we can get good results,” said Caslib.
Global Cebu, meanwhile, finished fourth with 47 points on a 13-8-7 win-draw-loss record.
Despite the playoffs being a home-and-away format, Global has to play both legs at the Rizal Memorial pitch due to the unavailability of its home stadium Cebu City Sports Center on both weekends.
“We have been playing here in Manila a lot so (there is) no problem. I feel for the fans in Cebu but it is what it is considering the circumstances. I hope that they will still support us,” said Global coach Akbar Nawas.
Meralco is coming off a goalless draw with Ceres Negros FC while Global is looking to sustain the momentum from its 2-1 win against the same club.
The Manileños and the Cebuanos are even in their four preliminary round encounters, one win apiece and settling for two draws.
The winner will battle the victor between No. 2 Ceres Negros and No. 3 Kaya FC-Makati in the other semifinals, which will start on Sunday at the University of Makati Football Stadium.
JEREMIAH M. SEVILLA