THE 2017 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games unfurls this week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and one of the first sports to be played in this year’s edition of the biennial meet is football, which will have the Philippines Football League (PFL) well represented through Davao Aguilas FC.
In the lineup submitted for the Games, seven under-22 players from the Davao PFL team will see action for the Philippines.
The players are Junell Mark Bautista, Jaime Vicenzo Cheng, Raymart Cubon, Dylan Alain Lucienner De Bruycker, Van Rey Diaz, Jordan Blair Jarvis and Richard Talaroc, Jr.
It something that the team is taking pride in, Davao Aguilas said, and that it wishes the players all the best as they help the country make waves in the SEA Games and hopefully bring home the gold medal, the first for the country if ever.
“Very exciting times for Davao Aguilas FC, we have seven representatives, that’s wonderful for our club. Obviously, we wish them all the best, we are confident that they will do well and represent Philippine football in a good way, and they are quality players, quality individuals. We are very excited for them and I’m sure they will do us proud,” said Davao coach Gary Phillips.
Apart from the seven Davao Aguilas players, also part of the team are University Athletic Association of the Philippines most valuable players Daniel Gadia of the University of the Philippines and Jarvey Gayoso of Ateneo and team captain Ian Clariño.
Joining them are Jay-Ra Rocha, Troy Limbo, Ace Villanueva, Christian Lapas, Nimrod Balabat, Valentino Clavo, Roberto Corsame, Jr., Kouichi Bekgira, Ray Joseph Joyel, Rey Franco Miguel De La Torre and Yoshiharu Koizumi.
The team will be coached by Marlon Maro, a former national player who saw action in the 1991 SEA Games here in Manila and helped the Philippines to a fourth-place finish.
In the 2017 SEA Games, the Philippines is bracketed in Group B along with Cambodia, Indonesia, defending champion Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam.
The Philippine U-22 team will begin its campaign tomorrow, Aug. 15, against Cambodia at 8:45 p.m.
Succeeding games will see the Philippines face Indonesia (Aug. 17), Vietnam (Aug. 20), Thailand (Aug. 22) and Timor Leste (Aug. 24). — Michael Angelo S. Murillo