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Negros Occidental, Davao to dispute PFF U-23 Suzuki Cup Final

PFF Under 23 Tournament

It will be a Visayas versus Mindanao battle that would determine who will be the PFF U-23 Suzuki Cup champions on Thursday, May 30 in Dumaguete City.

Defending champions Negros Occidental will have a chance to retain their championship, after dispatching their rivals and 2011 finalists Iloilo, 2-0. Jimuel Ariola at Joshua Beloya both scored in the second half to get them through the final.

They will be facing Davao, who needed extra time to beat North Cotabato, 1-0. Francis Jay Abaluran is credited with the game-winner six minutes into the 1st half of ET.

Negros Occidental, sponsored by Ceres and Davao, sponsored by Medvil, have met previously during the eliminations of the competition, where the Negrenses won, 5-0.

The finalists will be bolstered by well-known names in the collegiate and UFL ranks. Negros Occidental has Joshua Beloya, Jinggoy Valmayor and Reymark Fernandez, while Davao has Michael Simms and the Diamante brothers in David and Derrico.

Kickoff for the final is pegged at 2:30pm, while Iloilo and North Cotabato will participate in a 3rd place playoff at 8:30am.

The competition is part of the continuing involvement of Suzuki Philippines with the development of football in the Philippines, with the goal of finding new talent that would eventually lead to the growth of home-grown stars in the football scene. This partnership, established since 2011 in the aftermath of the country's achievements in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, is supplemented with sports programs and football clinics.