FOUR powerhouse teams representing the country’s different regions see action in the National Beach Football Championship this Saturday in the island paradise of Boracay.
Newly-crowned United Football League champion Philippine Air Force, representing the National Capital Region, leads the cast of competing squads that also include Luzon champion Mama Sita’s FC, The Boracay Dragons, carrying the colors of Visayas; and the Davao All-Stars for Mindanao.
The Jan. 14 event is the culminating tournament of the Beach Football Association of the Philippines’ year-round national series.
Mike Athab, BFAP president, announced in yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s UN Ave. the tournament will be one of the major criterion to determine the members of the Philippine beach football team that will compete in the Asian Beach Games in China on June.
The BFAP is also eyeing the Beach Football World Cup qualifying tournament later this year.
"We are confident this event will create a big impact on the sport, one of the fastest-growing in the country now, and to promote further the development of beach football," said Athab in the public service program backed by Smart, Shakey’s, and Pagcor.
He was accompanied by Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta and Philippine Sports Commission marketing chief Albert Almendralejo, who represented Commissioner Chito Loyzaga.
"Through this event, hopefully, we’ll have more players for beach football," added Araneta. "We hope to create more tournaments here in the Philippines, and participate more internationally."
Athab also said the BFAP plans to put up a venue for the sport in Manila and introduce it in the elementary and high school levels.
The PSC, according to Almendralejo, is supporting both the tournament and the national pool for beach football.
"We wholeheartedly support the growth of beach football," he said. "Our athletes have shown remarkable performances in the sport and we’re looking into developing their potential to compete on the international scale."