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PFL plans revival of famed tourney

Ian Suyu

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Reviving the Copa Paulino Alcantara is on the agenda for the Philippine Football League (PFL) this year as several clubs have expressed support behind its staging in April.

Four-time PFL champions United City FC owner Eric Gottcshalk said that he is behind the league’s initiative of commencing the season with the holding of the prestigious bootfest even as the country continues to battle a surge in Covid-19 cases.

According to PFL, the league cup will most likely still be played under a similar bubble setup where all matches were held in PFL national training center in Carmona, Cavite.

The said competition was cancelled last year due to the quick spread of coronavirus crisis in the country, leaving UCFC, formerly known as Ceres-Negros FC, as the tournament’s defending champions.

According to Gottschalk, starting the tournament as early as possible would surely boost the league’s momentum after its successful campaign last year.

“I’m all for an early start for the cup competition before the actual season starts. If the players are not trained for many months, it will put the players to disadvantage,” said Gottschalk, whose squad won the cup title back in 2019.

“With us playing in April, we are going to field a very young team and we don’t want to hold anything back.”

Kaya Iloilo FC manager Paul Tolentino also backed the PFL’s plan, saying that it would help most local players to sharpen their skills before competing in numerous regional tournaments including the FIFA Cup qualifiers in June and the Southeast Asian Games in December.

Nevertheless, Tolentino noted that the final decision will still boil down on the league’s assessment of events that might affect the scheduling of the tournament.

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