MINDANAO Cup champions Bukidnon Football Association (BUFA) skybooters of coach Guiller Sumampong are in for a tough challenge as they prepare to do battle in the Luzon Cup starting on November 22 at the Jose V. Yap Sports and Recreational Park in San Jose, Tarlac, Central Luzon.
The Luzon Cup is organized and sponsored by Negros Occidental Football Association (Nofa) president Ricky Yanson Jr., Central Luzon Football Association and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
“It is very important for us and at the same time challenging for we are representing Mindanao,” coach Sumampong said, adding there’s a great pressure for them as they will be the lone team outside Luzon competing in the said event.
“The pressure is there but we are prepared and ready. We have been training non-stop right after we won the Mindanao Cup in Davao City last month,’’ he added.
The BUFA team is composed of some players who will represent Bukidnon province in the Northern Mindanao Region Athletic Association (NMRAA) regional meet next month in Tubod, Lanao del Norte.
They swept the Mindanao Cup recording a total of six wins including a 4-0 win over the Davao City White team in the championship match.
The Bukidnon boys scored a total of 28 goals with an average of 4.83 per match. Tournament MVP Kurbe Dairo scored a total of 13 goals while striker Cade Sanchez added eight goals.
They were also tough on defense conceding only five goals with three clean sheets and earning their goalkeeper, Jun Melig, the Best Goalkeeper and Adriel Algador, the Best Defender, awards of the tournament. Prince Asiniero also won the Best Midfielder award.
Completing the Bukidnon lineup are Gerald Paluga, Joseph Lagumbay, Sean Octobre, Loejay Jumamoy, Inigo Sevillejo, Kursten Pelvera, Jimm Fabela, Prince Aseniero, Ric Ortiz, and Zacari Verdeflor. Assistant coach is Jaysan Andagan.
The Bukidnon boys will fly to the Clark Airport in Pampanga on Nov. 20 to join the competition in Tarlac set to start on Nov. 22. Other participating teams from Luzon are set to arrive on Nov. 21 for the screening of players and the match coordination meeting at the St. Cristo Integrated School in Tarlac.
So far 14 teams including Bukidnon will join the 9-aside tournament. Teams from Luzon are Cordillera RFA, Camarines Norte FA, RIFA-Claret School, Laguna Football Association, Federated Football Association of Masbate, Gawad Kalinga, Pangasinan United FC, RIFA-La Salle Gren Hills, Central Luzon FA, Tuguegarao City FC, RIFA-Xavier and NCRFA.