Bukidnon FC emerged as the champion of the first Mindanao Cup that was held recently at the Tionko Football Grounds in Davao City. The football tournament was a joint endeavor of the Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) headed by its president, Mr. Ricky Yanson, and the Davao South Regional Football Association, headed by its president, Engineer Henry Sabate.
Sixteen teams from Mindanao took part in the competition envisioned to hone grassroots football players.
The other winners in the Cup included Davao South Regional FA White, first runner-up; Davao South RFA Red; second runner-up and Mt. APO RFA, third runner-up.
Meanwhile, the winners of Mindanao Cup’s Division 1 Plate Competition were North Davao RFA, champion; Golden Davao RFA, first runner-up; Iligan-Lanao del Norte-Lanao del Sur RFA, second runner-up; and Sultan Kudarat FA, third runner-up.
SOCSARGEN RFA was crowned champion of the tourney’s Second Division, which had Cagayan de Oro-Misamis Oriental FA, Zamboanga del Norte – Dipolog FA, and Agusan del Sur RFA as first runner-up, second runner-up and third runner-up respectively.
Individual awards to Bukidnon FA’s Jun Melig (Best Goalkeeper), Adriel Algador (Best Defender), Prince Aseniero (Best Midfielder) and Kurbe Dairo (MVP), as well as to Mt. Apo RFA’s Jedd Gabriel Ceballos (Best Striker with 14 goals).
Mr. Yanson said, “I salute all the players, coaches, parents, teams and football associations who have joined us in these efforts… Special thanks to the Davao South Regional Football Association for hosting this Cup; congratulations to everyone because in grassroots football… everyone is a winner!”
The tournament was also supported by the local government of Davao City represented by Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte who attended the welcome dinner, and by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Executive Director Atty. Guillermo Iroy, Jr., who graced the games and the awarding ceremonies.
Atty. Iroy, a former national football player in the late 1980s lauded the Mindanao Cup for supplementing the PSC’s own grassroots program and for bringing together the Mindanao football associations. “This is a good program because it realizes the importance of the participation of young children. The Mindanao Cup is also special because, for a time, there was no tournament that involved all the regional FAs in Mindanao. There was a ‘lag’… With this program, the FAs have had a chance to band together.”
Photo by: Jonard Tan