PHILIPPINE Air Force on Thursday confirmed its participation in the upcoming UFL League kicking off on January 11, ending weeks of speculation over the team’s status after it weighed the possibility of taking a leave of absence.
“Sali kami,” Airmen coach Edzel Bracamonte told Spin.ph in a text message.
The Airmen earlier hinted on skipping the five-month league due to the basic military training intended for the newly enlisted Airmen that would’ve left the Armed Forces squad with a depleted roster.
But the said training, according to Bracamonte, has since been postponed, allowing them to keep an intact lineup led by skipper Ian Araneta, Jez Tonog, and rookie sensation Jimmy Vergara.
The Airmen are coming off a fairytale run in the season-opening UFL Cup where the only all-Filipino squad in the tournament toppled favored teams Kaya and Union Internacionale Manila in the knockout stage to reach the Final Four before losing to eventual bridesmaid Pachanga-DIliman.
The feat lessened the sorrow of finishing at the bottom of the 10-team standings in league play earlier this year that relegated them to Division 2.
But the team with two league titles and two Cup titles under their belt will now have to ply their trade in second division where they will meet fellow military club Navy and contenders UIM, Agila, and Cimarron.
“We’ll just see,” Bracamonte said. “You cannot underestimate teams in the second division.”