GLOBAL Cebu will be heading to their match against Ceres Negros on Saturday playing for a much bigger cause as they dedicate this game to the victims of the Marawi Siege and the recent attack on Resorts World Manila.
Though the details of their tribute remain unknown, Global head coach Marjo Allado said that their thoughts are with the victims of the recent attacks entering the biggest game in the Philippines Football League so far.
As of posting time, 39 government forces have already been killed in the crisis, which has also taken the lives of 24 civilians. The attack on the famous casino on the other hand left has already claimed 38 lives.
“We’ll be dedicating this game to our friends in Mindanao, particularly in Marawi and the victims of the recent attack on Resorts World,” said Global head coach Marjo Allado after the pre-match press conference of their match against the Negros.
“Our thoughts are with them in these trying times,” he added.
That will only further pump up the Cebuano side especially after a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Home United last Tuesday which ended its quest in the AFC Cup.
For 88 minutes, Global looked poised to push through and eventually set up an all-Filipino ASEAN Zone final, only to be caught off guard by two late goals from Stipe Plazibat.
Allado admitted that the club was down with the result, but promised that they have already moved on and ready to reclaim winning form in the country’s first-ever national league.
“Of course we’re disappointed with the result but the players are professionals. We already discussed this situation, like of course what happened with the red card so we have to learn from our mistakes,” said Allado.
“We’re done with the AFC Cup. Now our focus is in the PFL. And our focus for today is for tomorrow’s game,” he added.
Team skipper Misagh Bahadoran expects a totally different Ceres club from the team they used to play in the now-defuct United Football League.
The two teams engaged in tight battles last season, with Global winning two, Ceres one and the other one ending in a draw. Global went on to win the last title of the tournament.
“Tomorrow we’re gonna play 100 percent as usual, like the way we played last year. Maybe we’ll play stronger,” said Bahadoran who’s had to come off the bench for the past couple of games after an MCL injury sidelined him for nearly two months.
“But of course Ceres now is stronger, they have more good players right now, they did a very good job in the AFC and I would like to congratulate them for that. It’s gonna be a very, very tough game. That’s good for Philippine football. Hopefully it will be a fair game and we give the fans a good match,” he added.
Despite this match being early in the tournament, Allado knows that this will be more than just an early-season collision course considering that it is pride that’s at stake for both teams.
This will be the first ever ‘Visayas derby’ and that would be more than enough to keep both teams motivated.
“Tomorrow is gonna be exciting. It’s like another AFC game but to me, it’s more than that. It’s a Visayas battle for tomorrow. A lot of people will head to the stadium to watch the game.”