TOP LOCAL CLUB football squad Ceres-Negros FC begins its AFC Cup bid today against Shan United FC of Myanmar in ASEAN Zone Group G action at the Panaad Park and Football Stadium in Bacolod City.
Set for 7:30 p.m., Ceres, the Philippines Football League champion, returns to action and hopes to do well in the tournament while underscoring its standing as the top football club in the land.
Also part of Group G are Becamex Binh Duong of Vietnam and Persija Jakarta of Indonesia.
The “Busmen” last saw action three weeks ago at the AFC Champions League where they fell to Yangon United FC of Myanmar, 2-1, to miss out on the chance to advance to the next round.
It was a defeat that Ceres said it would use to propel itself in the AFC Cup.
“Hopefully we get to perform better in the next tournament … We will work on the things we did wrong and be ready in three weeks,” said Ceres stalwart Stephan Shrock upon their exit in the AFC Champion League.
He was seconded by Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic, who said “We have to prepare for the AFC Cup and make the necessary adjustments to perform better.”
Ceres faced Shan United three times last year and had the latter’s number, something it hopes to continue doing as the AFC Cup rolls off.
The Busmen are parading a souped-up roster which now includes Bosnian Mahir Karic and recent local signings in Jun Badelic, Dennis Villanueva and Alvaro Silva.
Also seeing action in the AFC Cup is Kaya FC-Iloilo, the Copa Paulino Alcantara champion, which begins its campaign in Group H on Wednesday.
The Ceres-Shan United match can be seen live over 5Plus and on FOX Sports 2. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo