By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
THE Philippine Premier League finally kicks off today, April 27, with a pair of matches at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
After its original start last month was deferred to give some teams added time to complete pertinent documents to be eligible to play in the rebranded local club football league, the PPL said it is now all systems go.
Starting the festivities is the match between Globe Green Archers United FC and Mendiola FC 1991 at 4 p.m. to be followed by Philippine Air Force FC against Kaya FC-Iloilo at 7 p.m.
Admission to the games is free with the second game to be broadcast live over at 5Plus.
All the teams playing on opening day expressed excitement over the about-to-start tournament and hoped they will have a good inaugural season.
“We are excited to showcase the level of football we are capable of,” said Green Archers United captain Tating Pasilan at Friday’s pre-tournament press conference at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
Green Archers United is coached by Dolfo Alicante and has a roster which includes Mr. Pasilan, Dominic Del Rosario, Marvin Angeles, Paolo Bugas, Reymart Cubon, Arjay Joyel, and John Celiz.
For its part, Mendiola said it is confident of doing well since it has been training hard in the lead-up.
“We will do our best. We have had two months of training. We will play for the league itself and not just the club,” Mendiola captain Aaron Altiche said.
The PPL will have a triple-round robin format with three matches played every week.
The rebranded league looks to build on the gains of its predecessor — the Philippines Football League — which ran for two seasons.
League commissioner Bernie Sumayao said it is hoped that fans would go out and support their teams and the league.
“I’m asking the fans to go out and support their teams. Let’s cheer for them. Everything we need to do let’s do it. Let’s create noise for the community to be heard,” Mr. Sumayao said.
The PPL official went on to say that they will work hard to ensure that they deliver on their promise of making the matches a fan-friendly experience with innovative and exciting ways of presenting the games.