Twelve of the country's top youth squads will vie for top honors as the national finals of the third Adidas Cup football tournament unfolds Feb. 23-27 in Iloilo.
According to Chris Monfort, Philippine Football Federation general secretary, two teams from Luzon, four from Visayas and six from Mindanao are competing in the national championship of the under-19 tourney sponsored by Adidas and backed by Globe Telecoms.
Monfort said the squads are from Manila, bannered by Mendiola United, Masbate, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Cebu, host Iloilo, Iligan, Pagadian, Zamboanga, Cotabato, Davao and Cagayan Misamis-Oriental.
"Each team went through gruelling eliminations so we expect only the best players in this youth level to come," Monfort said. "We also look forward to keen and exciting competition like past Adidas Cup national finals."
Hosted by the Iloilo Football Association led by president Caros "Titus" Perez Jr. and general secretary Duffy Botavara, the event's elimination matches will be played at the Iloilo Sports Complex and Central Philippines University football fields. The matches in the crossover semifinals and finals will be in Barotac Nuevo, on the outskirts of Iloilo City, one of the venues of last November's Asian Women's Football Championship.
Expected to grace the opening ceremonies of the Adidas Cup nationals on Feb. 23 are PFF president Rene Abad, Adidas managing director Philip Go, marketing and sales director Sonny Nebres and trade and promotions assistant Goody Custodio.