Kaya Makati looks to continue their mastery over Davao Aguilas in the Philippines Football League, as the pair face off on Wednesday, 4pm, at the Davao del Norte Sports Complex. The match will be the first between the two teams since the Aguilas reinforced their squad with several high profile signings midway through the season.
“We’re very excited for tomorrow’s game. The last two times we played against Davao Aguilas we won. The last time we played here, it was an unexpected blowout. We were able to win 5-1. When you look at the table, there’s a big gap. But going into tomorrow’s game, it’s going to be a different story,” said Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida. “We’ll be facing a completely new Davao Aguilas team. They have very experienced players, and they are under a very experienced coach in Marlon Maro.”
The new Aguilas head coach, who recently replaced Gary Philipps, is equally enthused by tomorrow’s contest.
“Up against a team that is currently second in the table, and is competing for the title, it’s a very exciting game for us,” said Davao head coach Marlon Maro.
Winless in their first 17 PFL matches, Davao are coming from three consecutive victories — a pair of triumphs over Ilocos United, and most recently, a win over JPV Marikina due to a forfeiture (lack of an ambulance present at the venue). JPV’s defeat consequently guaranteed Kaya a place in the the much awaited Finals Series, but despite the achievement, Makati aren’t entertaining the idea of slowing down.
“We are trying to be at the top as much as we can, add more points, and finish where we want to be — that’s the first, second, or third position. So, we’re still highly motivated. We try to win every game. We’ve qualified for the Finals Series, but that doesn’t bring anything to the table. We want to finish as high up as we can,” said Makati center back Alfred Osei.
The road ahead, however, is far from easy. Fresh from a 2-0 victory over Global Cebu on Saturday (Oct 21), Wednesday’s encounter is the second of three matches Kaya will play in the span of a week. Given the quick turnaround, ample preparation has been the key challenge. With a match against rivals Meralco Manila looming on October 28 (Saturday), Makati will be hoping to bring the momentum and high spirits of a victory in Davao.
“We have a very busy week. We’ll be having three games in eight days,” explained coach Noel. “It’s not easy. What’s very important for us is to monitor players’ recovery. When it comes to preparation, mentally, my players are ready 100%.”
Osei, who scored his first PFL goal in the team’s last visit to Davao, in front of a packed Davao del Norte Sports Complex, is hoping tomorrow’s atmosphere will be equally thrilling.
“The last time we were here, it was a beautiful place to play football. The fans were amazing,” added Osei. “It won’t be an easy game, but it will be entertaining for sure. So we’re calling on all the Kaya fans in Davao, and all the fans of the Aguilas, to come out and enjoy a very entertaining game.”