The national governing body for football, Philippine Football Federation (PFF), made an announcement through its official website of the 24 men who make up the U23 team that will compete in the qualifiers for the 2016 AFC U23 Championships. This event is set to happen on Wednesday, March 25, at Bangkok, Thailand.
The team consists of former and current collegiate players from both UAAP and NCAA, and top guns from the UFL and abroad. They hope to bounce back from the disappointing winless record two years ago in the qualifiers, when the tournament was named the U-22 Championships.
Here are the players who got the call up:
1. ABADIA, Luiz Cesar (Kaya FC)
2. AMITA, Arnel (FEU, Manila Jeepney FC)
3. AQUINO, Jenno (JP Voltes FC)
4. ARBOLEDA, Fitch Johnson Daviz (formerly of UE, Stallion FC)
5. ARISTORENAS, Jorrel Zachary (Loyola FC)
6. ASONG, Matthew (San Beda)
7. BADELIC, Florencio Jr. (Global FC)
8. BEATON, Charlie Yancy (Loyola FC)
9. BESANA, Mark Anthony (UP)
10. CHENG, Jaime Vicenzo
11. CLARINO, Julian Mariano (UP)
12. DE CASTRO, John Ian Causapin
13. DIZON, Curt-Jordan (Global FC)
14. FELONGCO, Shirmar (formerly of UST, Stallion FC)
15. GADIA, Daniel Bernan (UP, Pachanga Diliman FC)
16. GROMMEN, Joshua Jake (Loyola FC)
17. KANAYAMA, John Christopher (Global FC)
18. O’DONNELL, Nicholas Michael (Kaya FC, Ateneo)
19. SALENGA, Paolo (NU, Global FC)
20. SANTOS, Francisco Jose Primo (UP)
21. SOBERANO, Jay Shaun (San Beda)
22. TALAROC, Richard Jr. (Global FC)
23. UZOKA, Kennedy (UST, Green Archers United FC)
24. VILLANUEVA, Nathanael Ace (UP, Pachanga Diliman FC)
Head coach, Australian, Jim Fraser will be in charge of the team in this tournament to be held in Rajamangala National Stadium, which doubles up as a qualification meet for 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games.
The Nationals will face the mighty DPR Korea side to open their campaign on Wednesday, March 27 at 4pm local time [5pm Philippine time (PST)]. The team will, then, battle the hosts Thailand on Sunday, March 29 at 4pm (5pm PST). They will end their group phase matches against Cambodia on Tuesday, March 31 at 7pm (8pm PST).