Leylam routs USC in start of Aboitiz Football Cup Men’s Division I action
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Competition in the Division I of the men’s open category of the 21st Aboitiz Football Cup started with three-time defending champion Leylam FC routing University of San Carlos (USC), 5-1, on Sunday, February 2 at the Cebu City Sports Center.
Leylam is a three-time men’s open champion of the Aboitiz Football Cup and is chasing its fourth title and second back-to-back.
Its attempt at a grand slam was denied by USC, who booted them out in the semifinals of the 19th edition of what is considered as the longest and biggest running football tournament outside of Manila. USC then finished as the runner-up of champion team ERCO FC.
This time, however, organizing Central Visayas Football Association (CVFA) has modified the men’s open by dividing participating teams into two divisions—I and II.
Teams who have finished in the top bracket in past editions of the Aboitiz Football Cup are playing in the men’s open division I while those who finished in the lower bracket and new teams are seeing action in the men’s open division II.
Chad Songalia, tournament director and CVFA board member, said that they had decided to install two divisions in the men’s open category to elevate the tournament’s level of competition.
This was because the teams that ended up on the last two spots in Division I will be dropped to Division II in the next season while the top two teams in Division II will be promoted to Division I also in the next season.
Another reason is that the category gathers the most number of teams.
There are eight teams vying for the Division I title. Aside from Leylam and USC, also competing in Division I are last season’s runner-up Don Sacredale, University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R), Makoto FC A, University of the Visayas (UV), University of Cebu (UC) and Southwestern University (SWU) Phinma.
Contesting for the title and the top two spots in Division II are ERCO DB, Makoto FC B, Cebu Avengers, DB Magone, DB Alumni, and CKFC./dbs
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