The country’s premier cup competition returns this 15 July 2023 with the staging of the Copa Paulino Alcantara 2023.
The cup competition, which is organized by the Philippine Football Federation will see an expanded cast of 17 teams, composed of five (5) Philippines Football League clubs, seven (7) amateur clubs, three (3) teams from the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, and two (2) teams from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
2018 and 2021 winners Kaya FC-Iloilo were drawn to Group A where they will face Inter Manila FC, Loyola FC, Don Bosco Garelli FC, UAAP winners Far Eastern University, and Philippine Air Force in Group A.
The five-team Group B comprises of 2023 PFL runners-up Dynamic Herb Cebu FC will face Maharlika Manila FC, Pilipinas Dragons FC, Manila Digger FC, and the University of the Philippines.
Group C, meanwhile, will see Stallion Laguna FC, Mendiola FC 1991, Davao Aguilas-UMak, Tuloy FC, Adamson University, and Philippine Army.
Matches will be played at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila, the University of Makati Stadium in Makati, and Biñan Football Stadium in Biñan, Laguna.
The top two teams from each group, along with the two best third-placed teams, will advance to the knockout stages.
PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes hailed the expansion of the cup with ten teams joining in the mix with the PFL clubs.
“We are delighted with the latest development in club football with the expansion of the Copa Paulino Alcantara 2023 from seven to 17 participating teams,” said Gastanes. “We look forward to seeing club football take it to the next level with fresh rivalries and exciting matches.”
PFL commissioner Coco Torre also shared his insights in the match-ups.
“We hope that the expanded cast of participants in the cup will generate more attention in the club football scene,” said Torre. “It is exciting times in the Philippine club football as we will see the PFL clubs compete against an interesting mix of teams from the amateur ranks, university teams, and the armed forces.” – pfl.org.ph