US basketball

Azkals ‘motivated’ to beat Thailand in Suzuki Cup semis

Jaelle Nevin Reyes
Azkals ‘motivated’ to beat Thailand in Suzuki Cup semis
As fans prepare to brave rain from Typhoon Ruby, Azkals manager Dan Palami says his side is ready to end a 14-game losing streak to Thailand

MANILA, Philippines – Azkals team manager Dan Palami declared that the boys of the Philippine national football team are motivated to grab a win during the game in front of their home crowd at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Saturday, December 6.

Palami told the media after the pre-match press conference at the Manila Hotel on Friday afternoon that the Azkals are keen on winning their first leg of their two-match meeting for the AFF Suzuki Cup semifinal, as it will be played on their home turf and under the specter of incoming Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit).

“I think the motivation is there already. We’re playing at home in front of our countrymen and some might brave the rain and typhoon. I think that is enough motivation,” he said.

“We are a stop closer to another milestone in Azkals history. We haven’t beaten Thailand since 1971 and that’s a big motivation for the team. We hope that it [winning] is something that we can accomplish.“ added Palami while stressing that they are looking forward to etch another first for the inspiring history of the team.

(RELATED: Azkals to end 42-year losing streak to Thailand, says PFF)

The Azkals will be gunning for an early advantage before going into the second leg in Thailand as they look to capitalize on their promising run during the group leg of the tournament.

Previous meetings between the two Southeast Asian countries have all been won by Thailand, a total of 14 straight dating back to 1971.

More recently, the Thais have booked yet another win against the Filipinos in a friendly on November 9 at Nakhon Ratchisima, Thailand with a score of 3-0.

Meanwhile, the Azkals team manager stressed that he is believes that the Azkals are well prepared going into the game, stating that the team is more eager to win after losing their last match to Vietnam

“I think the coaches have prepared the team well. The lost against Vietnam was a timely wake-up call.  The pressure wasn’t there during the first game but now it’s a do our die game and every body needs to step up. We really need to get that win.” –

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