MANILA, Philippines -The collegiate football season starts early with the staging of the first Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association (IPPCA) Football Pre-Season Cup on Oct. 14 at the Nuvali football field in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
A total of 14 teams from both the UAAP and the NCAA and two guest squads in the senior side complete the cast in the month-long tournament organized by the Filoil Flying V Sports.
Back-to-back UAAP champion University of the Philippines and San Beda College, which won 10 of the last 11 NCAA football seasons, will lead the cast.
Ateneo, De La Salle, Far Eastern University, University of the East and University of Santo Tomas are the other UAAP teams in the mix, while St. Benilde, Mapua, Perpetual Help, Arellano U, Emilio Aguinaldo College and Lyceum complete the NCAA field.
The two guest teams are from Rizal Technological University and University of Makati.
The juniors side, meanwhile, will be led by powerhouse La Salle Green Hills and UAAP juniors back-to-back champion FEU-Diliman.
Eight other teams seeing action are La Salle Zobel, UST, San Beda, Letran, San Sebastian, Arellano, Perpetual Help and Xavier.
“This is the first time that IPPCA is embarking on a sporting event. For us, it’s also a time to be a part of youth development,” league chairman Fer Martinez said during the press launch of the event at the N20 Gastrobar in Quezon City last Tuesday.
Martinez is also the president of the IPPCA, which counts 15 members as follows: Eastern Petroleum Corp., Flying V/TWA Inc., Unioil Petroleum Phils. Inc., Oilink, Filoil Gas Company, Seaoil Philippines Inc., City Oil, Chemrez Technologies Inc., Filpride Energy Corp., International Engineer Phils. Inc., Liquified Petroleum Gas Marketers Association, Metro Oil Subic, Omni Petroleum Corp., Trans Overseas Industrial Corp. and CLO Industrial Innovations and Solutions Inc.
“Football is the most popular sport in the world. Five to 10 years down the line, we can see the competitiveness heightened here,” Martinez said.
“This is going to be an annual thing. It’s a commitment,” he added.
Joey Guillermo, league co-chairman and general manager of Filoil Flying V Sports, said champion teams will receive trophies and cash scholarships worth P50,000 in the men’s division and P25,000 in the juniors.
NCAA juniors powerhouse La Salle Green Hills and UAAP juniors back-to-back champion FEU-Diliman head the juniors cast composed of Ateneo, La Salle Zobel, UST, San Beda, Letran, San Sebastian, Arellano, Perpetual Help and Xavier.
The teams will be divided into four groups and will clash in a single round robin. The top teams from each group at the end of the eliminations will advance to the semifinals, with the winners colliding in the finals.
The semifinals and finals will be held at the Rizal Football Stadium in Manila.