Thursday, November 15, 2018

37th PCA Open commences tomorrow

The most prestigious local tennis tournament is set to commence tomorrow, as the Philippine Columbian Association is set to host the 37th edition of the PCA Open at its courts in Plaza Dilao, Paco, Manila.

Kicking off the event is the Juniors 10-under and 12-under divisions, which will take place this weekend.

The following weekend (November 23-26) will see the rest of the Juniors divisions (14-under, 16-under, and 18-under) take to the courts.

As for the Men's and Ladies' Open division for both singles and doubles, qualifying is scheduled for November 26-29, with the actual tournament proper to take place starting November 30.

Bryan Otico is the defending champion in Men's Singles, with the likes of PJ Tierro, Johnny Arcilla, Nino Alcantara, Jeson Patrombon, and AJ Lim attempting to wrest the title away.

Marian Jade Capadocia is seeking her sixth title in this tournament, with the likes of Clarice Patrimonio, Bambi Zoleta and Akiko de Guzman standing in her way from a successful title defense.

Designated as a Group 1 event, the PCA Open is supported by PHILTA, Longmarch Roadlux, HEAD, Mary Grace, Stronghold Insurance, Coca-Cola, Mr. Freeze, and the members and directors of the PCA. Dunlop is the official ball for this tournament.

Updates on this tournament will be posted on its specialized Facebook page (search for PCA Open 2018).

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Philippines defeat Tajikistan

The Philippines' starting XI versus Tajikistan (c/o the Football Federation of Tajikistan)
The Philippines secured back-to-back victories to bolster their quest to make it to the Olympic women's football tournament in 2020 with a 3-1 come-from-behind victory against Tajikistan at the Hisor Central Stadium.

After they spotted the hosts a goal in the 26th minute through Gulsunbi Khalimova, the ladies managed to get things even through Shelah Cadag five minutes later.

With the scoreline remaining level into the halftime break, the Philippines took the lead through Sara Castaneda in the 50th minute, then provided the insurance cushion with a penalty conversion in the 76th minute.

The wins keeps the Pinays level on points with Chinese-Taipei, although the latter has the clear edge on goal difference after 9-0 thrashings against the hosts and Mongolia, whom the Philippines will face next on November 11.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Philippines demolish Singapore to open Asian Olympic Qualifying for women's football

Team Pilipinas

The Philippines kicked off its quest to make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in impressive fashion on Sunday afternoon, defeating Singapore, 9-0 at the Hisor Central Stadium in Tajikistan.

Shelah Cadag made a dazzling first impression for the Pinays in the tournament, securing a hat trick in her maiden appearance with the national team. She scored her first goal after just three minutes of action, doubling things up a couple of minutes later. The UST scoring machine would complete the hat trick after 43 minutes.

Not to be outdone, experienced national team cogs Hali Long and Irish Navaja contributed braces. The former scored in the 32nd and 59th minutes, while the latter netted hers in the 52nd and 67th minutes.

Completing the scoring for the Let Dimzon-coached side were Dai Dolino in the 27th minute and Sara Castaneda in the 57th minute.

The Pinays will be on bye when Group A action resumes on November 6. They resume tournament play against hosts Tajikistan on November 8.

Philippines set to Tokyo Olympics qualifying in women's football

The Women's Senior National Football team of the Philippines, alongside the team staff
The Philippines is set to commence its quest to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in women's football.

Grouped alongside Chinese-Taipei, Mongolia, Singapore, and hosts Tajikistan in Group A, they kick off their campaign this afternoon against their fellow ASEAN competitors. Kickoff is scheduled at 4pm.

The Malditas are the second-highest ranked team in the group at 74th overall in the FIFA rankings, with Chinese-Taipei the only other team that has a better ranking at 40th. They are the only two squads in this group ranked in the top 100, as Singapore is 107th and Tajikistan is 119th, with Mongolia unranked due to lack of matches.

In a statement, Philippine Football Federation General Secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes shares, "The PFF wishes the Philippines Women’s National Team all the best for the 2020 Olympic Football Tournament Asian Qualifiers Round 1. This is the second time that the team will travel to Tajikistan for a qualifier, and we hope that they perform well to advance to the second round."

The last time they were in Tajikistan in a tournament, the Philippines made a breakthrough by earning their way into the AFC Asian Cup for Women, successfully qualifying for the first time in the top tier national competition for women in Asia. Held this April in Jordan, the AFC Women's Asian Cup was the main qualification for the FIFA Women's World Cup that is to take place in France next year.

Twenty ladies were called up to comprise the team, most of whom have had national team experience in previous tournaments. Almost all are currently participating in the PFF Women's League, which is set to wrap up its 2018 season later this month.

Analou Amita (DF, OutKast FC)
Martie Bautista (MF, Ateneo)
Mea Bernal (DF, OutKast FC)
Shelah Cadag (FW, University of Santo Tomas)
Sara Castaneda (MF, La Salle)
Shai del Campo (FW, La Salle)
Alesa Dolino (DF, OutKast FC)
Patrice Impelido (MF, Hiraya FC)
Kyla Inquig (MF, Green Archers United)
Charisa Lemoran (MF, University of Santo Tomas)
Hali Long (DF, Green Archers United)
Ivy Lopez (DF, University of Santo Tomas)
Hazel Lustan (MF, University of Santo Tomas)
Irish Navaja (MF, La Salle)
Hannah Pachejo (DF, University of Santo Tomas)
Inna Palacios (GK, Green Archers United)
Kimberly Parina (GK, Far Eastern University)
Camille Rodriguez (MF, Hiraya FC)
Nicole Reyes (GK, University of Santo Tomas)
Patricia Tomanon (DF, Florida International University alumna)

Taking on the head coaching mantle for this squad is Let Dimzon, assisted by Gerard Orcullo, and Melo Sabacan, with Prescilla Rubio serving as the team trainer. Jefferson Cheng is the team manager, with the Quezon-Batangas Regional Football Association General-Secretary and concurrent chairperson for Women's Football in the PFF, Lalaine Bautista serving as the Head of the Delegation.

The complete schedule for the First Round of the 2020 Olympics Qualifying is as follows (kickoff in Manila time):

November 4 vs Singapore (4pm)
November 8 vs Tajikistan (7pm)
November 11 vs Mongolia (4pm)
November 13 vs Chinese-Taipei (4pm)

All of the Filipinas' matches will take place at the Hisor Central Stadium.

The Philippines just needs to finish in the top two of the Group in order to advance to the next round of qualifying.

Friday, November 2, 2018

37th PCA Open Kicks set for November 16 to December 9

Coming this month
The 37th edition of the Philippine Columbian Association is set to kick off this month, with high stakes competition beckoning for all participants.

The tournament, which is set to run from November 16 to December 9, is made possible with the assistance of the PCA's directors, as well as the support of the Philippine Tennis Association (PHILTA).

Considered as the Philippine equivalent to "Wimbledon" with regards to prestige, the PCA Open for this year will have four main events:
  • Open Singles and Doubles for both Men and Women
  • Juniors action (subdivided to five age groups: 12-under, 14-under, 16-under, 18-under for boys and girls, and 10-under unisex)
  • Seniors Doubles action for Men and Women (two age groups: 40-above and 55-above)
John Bryan Otico and Marian Jade Capadocia are the defending PCA Open singles champions, and both have their task cut out for them in defending their respective crowns.

Otico will have to deal with the 2016 champion and UAAP Season 80 Most Valuable Player AJ Lim, 8-time champion Johnny Arcilla, and PJ Tierro, with other potential hopefuls in the form of Jeson Patrombon, Nino Alcantara, and Jurence Mendoza.

Five-time champion Capadocia, on the other hand, has the trio of Clarice Patrimonio, Bambi Zoleta, and Akiko de Guzman serving as her biggest threats to a sixth title.

For more details about the 2018 PCA Open, one can check out their official Facebook page, as well as @PCAOpen on both Twitter and Instagram.