The Philippines opens its campaign as it faces Malaysia in Group B of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Under-15 Youth Championship 2017 on Monday in Chonburi, Thailand.
Kickoff is set at 4 p.m. at the Chonburi Campus Stadium 2.
Under the mentorship of former Azkals star player Emelio “Chieffy” Caligdong, the selected 23 junior booters seek to atone for the last-place finish of the national youth team in the previous year.
Called up to join the squad were Mark Alanquihan, Josh Asignar, Antoine Ortega, Jacob Braun, Luis Buyco, Eric Cachuela, Miguel de Mesa, Vin de la Cruz, Genesis Elefan, Karl Emery, Yuki Ferrer and Paolo Go.
Rounding out the lineup were Oliver Gresens, RJ Jarandillo, Reuben Liansing, Lorenzo Lim, Enrico Mangaoang, Francis Maniti, Chyle Miraflores, Jiannecel Molina, Randel Perez, Sandro Reyes and James Tuazon.
Aside from Malaysia, the Philippines is set to tangle with last year’s third place finisher Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam and Timor-Leste.
The tournament, which is slated until July 22, served as a replacement to the Under-16 competition in preparation for the Asia Football Confederation U-16 Championship qualifying stage next year.
JEREMIAH M. SEVILLA