Philippine U-23 SEA Games football roster named
MANILA, Philippines – Twenty men coming from different colleges and soccer clubs will don the Philippine colors in the Under-23 football tournament of the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games that will be held from June 5 to 16 in Singapore.
The official list of the 20-man roster was submitted to the Philippine Olympic Committee on Monday, May 25.
In addition, the men’s national football squad will be guided by Marlon Maro, who is the head coach of College of St. Benilde in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Maro steered the Green Blazers to their first NCAA football title in the 2009-10 season, where St. Benilde thwarted San Beda College’s eight-year championship winning streak.
The longtime football trainer is not new to the international limelight as he coached the women's national football troop from 2001 to 2007.
Aside from his coaching stint, Maro also founded the annual inter-collegiate football tourney “Ang Liga” with San Beda’s Aris Caslib in 2003.
Maro’s team will be composed of young men who have strutted their wares in the collegiate ranks and the United Football League, including San Beda’s Neil Dorimon, Stallion FC’s Fitch Arboleda, Global FC’s Florencio Badelic Jr., University of the Philippines’ Julian Clarino, Kaya FC’s Dominic Liam Del Rosario and Green Archers United’s Kenny Uzoka
Other members of the lineup include Ronnie Aguisanda, Nathaniel Andrew Alquiros, Arnel Amita, Mark Anthony Besana, Paolo Bugas, Jaime Cheng, Shirmar Felongco, Daniel Gadia, Paolo Salenga, Francisco Santos, Connor Reece Tacagni, Richard Talroc, Gerardo Valmayor and Nathanael Villanueva.
Nearly two weeks ago, the Philippine Football Federation faced criticism when it decided to pull out Mark Hartmann, OJ Porteria, Daisuke Sato and Amani Aguinaldo in the SEA Games training camp.
Although the aforementioned players all made the SEA Games age cutoff, the football organization is focused on the World Cup qualifiers as Thomas Dooley is expected to include them in the Azkals pool.
In the 2015 SEA Games football competition, the Philippines is grouped with Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia.
Meanwhile, the other cluster is comprised of Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei and East Timor.
Each bracket plays a round-robin elimination, in which the top two teams of both groups will advance in the crossover semi-final round, where the winners will go head-to-head for the top prize.
Jalan Besar Stadium will be hosting the entire Group A matches, while Bishan Stadium will be the venue of Group B’s games.
The championship round and the battle for third place are scheduled to be held at the 55,000-capacity Singapore National Stadium.
The Maro-mentored Philippine football squadron is slated to have its first assignment against Singapore on June 1 with the elimination round kicking off a few days before the opening ceremony. - Rappler.com
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