Philippine football

Kaya FC-Iloilo banners 17 teams in revamped Copa Paulino Alcantara

Philip Matel

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Kaya FC-Iloilo banners 17 teams in revamped Copa Paulino Alcantara

FAVORITES. Jarvey Gayoso and Kaya FC look to sustain their winning form.


The country’s top Philippine football clubs collide as the Copa Paulino Alcantara kicks off this weekend

MANILA, Philippines — Teams fight for the right to be named the Philippines’ best football club as the Copa Paulino Alcantara, the country’s premier club competition, unfolds on Saturday, July 15.

Led by 2021 Cup winners Kaya FC-Iloilo, a total of 17 squads — five from the Philippines Football League (PFL), three from the UAAP, two from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and seven amateur teams — will be scattered across three groups.

It is a huge uptick in the number of participants, having only seven in the previous edition.

“We’re excited to be playing in the most exciting competition in Philippine football today… the next six months will be the most important in the club’s history,” said Jing Jamlang of Kaya FC during the Cup’s virtual introductory press conference on Friday, July 14.

“We’re jumping into [AFC] Champions League campaign in two months and this competition allows us to prepare for it alongside some very interesting opposition,” he added.

“There are so many looks that we’re gonna get, and for the Philippine football public, this is a competition that you cannot miss.” 

Matches will be held at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Malate, Manila, University of Makati Stadium, and the Biñan Football Stadium in Laguna.

The group stage will be played in a single round-robin format, where the top two teams in each group will advance to the knockout playoffs.

The two best third-placed teams will complete the eight-team playoffs, set to be determined by tournament regulations.

Joining Kaya FC-Iloilo in Group A are Inter Manila FC, Loyola FC, Don Bosco Garelli FC, UAAP champion FEU Tamaraws, and the Philippine Air Force.

Group B features 2023 PFL runners-up Dynamic Herb Cebu FC alongside Maharlika Manila FC, Pilipinas Dragons FC, Manila Digger FC, and the UP Fighting Maroons.

Rounding out the teams in Group C are Stallion Laguna FC, Mendiola FC 1991, Davao Aguilas-UMak, Tuloy FC, Adamson Soaring Falcons, and the Philippine Army.

“We hope that the expanded cast of participants in the Cup will generate more attention in the club football scene,” said PFL commissioner Coco Torre. 

“It is exciting times in the Philippine club football as we will see the PFL clubs compete against an interesting mix of teams from the amateur ranks, university teams, and the armed forces.” –

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