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Cebu wants to host PFL championship game



Global Cebu exercised its option to host the championship game of the inaugural Philippines Football League (PFL) season on Saturday night.

In a letter sent to PFL CEO Lazarus Xavier on Sunday, which was made public by the club on Monday, Cebu demanded that its titular showdown with rival Negros should happen at the Cebu City Sports Complex (CCSC) pursuant to Article 2.10 of the PFL Tournament Regulations.

Cebu, which entered the semifinals as the fourth seed, bucked off a virtual homecourt disadvantage, that is, playing both its games at the Rizal Memorial Stadium (RMS), Manila's own turf, to shock the top-seeded Manileño squad, 3-2 on aggregate.

The first leg, which was credited as a Cebu home match, was moved to Rizal Memorial as the CCSC was reserved for the national finals of the Milo Marathon, which according to the club was one of the "circumstances beyond our control."

Uncertainties on where the final will be held began to surface just right after the second semifinal leg last Saturday when word came in that the seeding will now matter in the hosting of the match with the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod, the home of second-seeded Negros, looming to be the venue.

Also, there were discussions of the match going to be held again at RMS because of the uncertainty on whether the CCSC will be available for the final due to what happened on December 2.

However, Cebu's EVP and COO Josef Malinay, who wrote the letter, reiterated that the CCSC is available for the final.

"We firmly believe that we owe it to our fans, especially those in Cebu, to play the PFL Final in our own pitch," the letter continued. "We had already deprived them once by playing our home semifinals match in Manila... and we would not want to disappoint them again."

Ivan Stewart Saldajeno / PNA