MANILA, Philippines - The Alaska Football Cup has come a long way since it was launched a couple of decades ago, luring more than 6,000 players and over 400 teams when it staged its 20th edition at the Alabang Country Club recently.
Alaska Milk president and CEO Wilfred Uytengsu said it was a privilege to hold the biggest and most successful grassroots-development program on the local football scene even as he recalled the tournament’s modest start.
“In 1996, we had 350 players and 25 teams. In our 20th anniversary, we held a three-day event in 26 football fields with 6,150 players in 410 teams. In those 20 years we’ve had 12,159 teams of over 58,000 players play 13,800 games with over 40,000 goals scored. We’ve come a long way,” said Uytengsu.
The Alaska chief also cited the dedication of tournament organizer Tomas Lozano and his role not only in helping promote the tournament but also in discovering some of the best football players in the country who eventually went on to play in the Azkals national team.
“Over these 20 years we’ve also had the opportunity to have some really fantastic players participate in the event. We are proud to say that many in the ranks of the Azkals have come through the Alaska Cup, including Ali Borromeo, Roel Gener, Chieffy Caligdong and Amani Aguinaldo,” said Uytengsu.
Alaska Milk encourages sports engagement as it instills positive values during the early stages of a child’s life.
“Alaska Football Cup is more than just discovering elite players. It’s about promoting teamwork, commitment and dedication. We hope that as players you will keep those characteristics in mind. It’s a privilege to be here to open the 20th Alaska Cup,” said Uytengsu.
The AFC is the highly anticipated annual football tournament for today’s young athletes with school teams and football clubs from all over the Philippines, including Masbate, Baguio, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Davao, Palawan, Legaspi, Laguna, Batangas, Bukidnon, Zambales, Pampanga, Tarlac, Ilocos, Bicol, Romblon, Davao Sur, Compostela Valley, Quezon, Cavite, Albay, Pangasinan, Bacolod, Iloilo, Mindoro and Metro Manila participating.