There will still be an Armed Forces squad in the top flight of the United Football League next season.
Philippine Army retained its place in Division 1 following an 8-4 aggregate victory over Division 2 runner-up Union Internacionale Manila in their two-leg playoff, leaving the Troopers to carry the banner of the military clubs after the relegation of Air Force this season. Navy has been in Division 2 since last season.
Gaining a headstart thanks to their 5-3 win in the first leg last week, the Troopers coasted to a 3-1 triumph on Sunday night at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill, Taguig to finish their season on a positive note and douse Union's hopes of promotion.
"Masaya kami. Kami na lang ang naritirang Armed Forces team sa Division 1 kaya dapat naming ingatan ang position namin," goalkeeper Ed Sacapaño told Spin.ph after the game.
Sacapaño, though, can only support the Troopers from the bench as the national team mainstay was still on loan to Global until the end of its Singapore Cup campaign.
Romano Vestal, who was among the goalscorers in the first leg, fired a brace this time to lead the Troopers.
Roel Gener also registered a goal for Army, which finished the recently concluded season in ninth place.
"Pipilitin namin umangat sa next League," Troopers coach Ricky Cain said.