CERES Negros Football Club (FC) will leave for Vietnam on Saturday, February 18, for its first away match against Ha Noi in the 2017 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup Group G on February 21 at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi.

Already, Ceres FC has played a couple of goodwill matches to ensure that they are ready for this tournament.

Club director Ali Go said their recent tune-ups have helped them a lot in building a strong side for this tournament.

“We learned a lot from those matches and we are doing the necessary modifications in the team. Some of our players are still adjusting with the Asian football style of play,” he added.

Go admitted they belong to a tough group as other teams have also upgraded their roster.

“Everyone is looking forward to make it to the next round of the tournament and we are working hard to achieve it, too. Everyone in the team should perform well for us to succeed,” the Ceres FC official said.

Since the AFC Cup format has deviated from its usual East-West to zonal, it is tougher for the Philippines’ side to hurdle the five new zones – West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Asean – where Ceres FC and Global Queen City FC belong.

In Group F are Malaysian Johor Darul Ta'zim, Myanmar's Magwe, Cambodia's Boeung Ket Angkor, and Global FC of the Philippines.

Joining Ceres FC and Ha Noi of Vietnam in Group G are Tampines Rovers of Singapore and Felda United of Malaysia while Group H has Than Quang Ninh of Vietnam, Yadanarbon of Myanmar, and Home United of Singapore.

Ceres Negros needs to top the group for them to advance in the zonal semifinals and play against the Asia zone winner, with the winner moving up to the zonal finals.

If successful, they get a chance to compete in the inter-zone playoff semifinals – wherein the winner advances to the inter-zone playoff finals. The winner then faces the West Asia Zone winner for the AFC Cup finals.