THE Philippine Azkals were handed a favorable path to the Southeast Asian Games football semifinals, after being drawn in a relatively light group.
The Filipino footballers are set to play Timor Leste, Myanmar, Cambodia, with 2017 silver medalist Malaysia the toughest in the group.
The top two teams progress to the semifinals.
Defending champion Thailand was picked to play with bronze medalist Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei and Singapore in Group A during the draw ceremony on Tuesday graced by Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino.
The Philippine Malditas were grouped with Myanmar and Malaysia, also considered a light assignment compared to the other side composed of defending champion Vietnam, silver medalist Thailand and Indonesia.
With only five teams in women’s volleyball after the withdrawal of Malaysia, the Philippines will play in a single-round robin format with Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore.
The men’s squad, meanwhile, was picked to play in Group B with defending silver and bronze medalists Indonesia and Vietnam together with Cambodia.Defending champion Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar and Timor Leste in Group A.