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Originally published by SunStar

CEBU FC faces Kaya FC-Iloilo on May 12 for the No. 1 spot in the 2022 Copa Paulino Alcantara at the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

In just its second season, Cebu FC has been making huge waves in the Philippines’ football scene.

Following a winless Copa debut last year, Cebu FC has been on fire, winning four matches and a draw with perennial contender United City FC (UCFC).

Cebu FC faces another tough test against the defending champion Kaya FC.

“We are preparing for Thursday, we always want a good result, it is not hard to motivate the players because their mindset is already there, and that is why we are always getting good results,” said Turkish head coach Mehmet Kakil.

Kakil has been mixing up his line up and it has shown good results. As a result, former Cesafi MVP Steven Patalinghug won Man of the Match after he made the match-tying goal against UCFC, coming off the bench.

“I am considering all players as a team, so in terms of injury or fatigue, we are a team so if one player is not available I can give another player a chance, that’s all part of the training, how we will be ready and who we will play for the next game,” said Kakil. Kaya FC is also unbeaten in the tournament and is just behind Cebu FC on goal difference. Kaya FC needs to beat Cebu FC if it wants to take the No. 1 seed in the semifinals.

Kaya FC’s last match was a close 3-2 win over Stallion Laguna FC last May 2.

Cebu FC, in the meantime, is fresh from a 1-1 draw with UCFC on May 8. UCFC is also playing on the same day against Stallion FC to wrap up the Copa’s elimination round.

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