ONE of my favorite tournaments returns for another edition later this month, making it the first tournament to be staged in Cebu under the new officers of the Central Visayas Football Association.
Now called the Hyundai Cup Champions’ League, the tournament for the Born 2002 age group will have two groups, which will have four teams each. Each group will also have two out-of-town teams. In Group A, Don Bosco Technology Center will represent Cebu South, while KNF-Don Bosco Boys Home will represent Cebu Province. The two out-of-town teams are Tagibilaran-Gaher and Sagay City.
Group B will have Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, which will represent Mandaue, and the University of San Carlos, which will represent Cebu North. The two visiting teams are Tacloban City and San Carlos Gannet.
Since it is just a three-day tournament, the matches will be played with 30-minute halves and flying substitution is allowed.
This is just the third year of the tournament and I think they’re going in the right direction.
There are Hyundai dealerships all over the country and the direction of the organizers is to eventually have a true champions league where champions from each local eliminations will play in a national final.
This is why I consider the Hyundai Cup as one of my favorite tournaments because of the vision of the organizers. Just imagine if other private companies which have a similar setup—i.e. they have branches in other football-rich areas—will also hold a similar tournament, it would be a boost for Philippine football.
The Aboitiz Group Foundation is taking baby steps towards that direction, holding a Luzon version of their highly successful Aboitiz Cup. There were plans to pit the Cebu and Luzon champions in a final but that didn’t push through.
Well, I hope the Aboitiz Group will also look at having a Mindanao or even NCR edition of the Aboitiz Cup. That way we can have an Aboitiz Champions League pitting the champions of the four.
But that’s a long way down the road.
What is closer though is the Hyundai Champions League. From just an ordinary cup type tournament when it started three years ago, it has grown bigger with half of the eight-team field coming from outside Cebu.