PFL Week 11: a new leader and the new efficiency ranking

New week, new leader, and a new type of ranking. Though hit with TV issues, the Philippines Football League still continues to bring quality football nationwide with a third of the season already completed.

Stallion Laguna scored two consecutive wins against a former number one in JPV Marikina and jumping to sixth place, swapping with the Davao Aguilas who are currently amassing weapons for a push to the top four in the coming months. Ilocos United are still in the bottom but are seeing improvements in their results.

JPV Markina has stumbled in their past two outings with Stallion keeping them at the number five spot. Global Cebu has dropped in the standings after drawing with Meralco Manila in weekend action. Ceres-Negros continued its winning ways in Panaad and finally jumped to third, over their Visayan rival after scoring a win over Davao.

The main story this week is Kaya’s meteoric rise to top spot with the Makati side leapfrogging over Manila with consecutive wins against Ilocos. Kaya has been the hottest team so far in the last few weeks but club has played more games than its nearest competitors making its number one ranking temporary.

Since all the teams have already met in the league and the table does not fully paint a better picture, The Perfect Pass introduces the PFL Efficiency rankings.

The ranking is very simple. Divide the number of points by the number of matches and you will get the efficiency for each team. It does not only give a true ranking but it also gives the relative strength of the teams when matched against each other. Third place Ceres-Negros is the most efficient team so far, slightly edging Meralco Manila as the best teams in acquiring points in the PFL.

PFL Week 10: Who’s hot? Who’s not?

A very interesting week in the PFL. The bottom three maintained their positions while the biggest drop in the standings went to JPV Marikina. Takumi Uesato’s absence has sent the Markina side sliding down to fifth place.

Ceres’ big win against league leaders Meralco proved the volatility of the current rankings putting them back at the top four. It will take them a while to improve at the top with the looming AFC Cup matches.

Global was held to a draw by Davao with the Cebu squad missing out on the chance to overtake the league leaders. Kaya has been on a tear lately and a trip to the top is inevitable for the Makati side.

PFL Week 9 Rankings

The Philippines Football League has gained some finally gained some traction after nine weeks of football. Though the all the teams have not played each other yet, a clear pattern for teams have been established and will fully pan out once the month of July ends. Here’s some quick analysis on the action so far:

#1 Meralco Manila

The capital squad has regained the top spot after continuing its unbeaten run after a James Younghusband goal that edged them over erstwhile top seed JPV Marikina. Unbeaten records are a good measure of a team’s overall character, character that will be tested week in and week out from hereon.

#2 Global Cebu

Wins over Ceres and Stallion at home have pushed the title favorites back in second spot. Global has shown in resiliency in big matches and are eager to showcase it in front of their adoring fans in Cebu.

#3 JPV Marikina

JPV has had an unlucky spell the past few days after having their match from previous week called off, aside from losing topscorer Takumi Uesato and scoring an own goal against Loyola. The Marikina squad dropped to third place but a favorable schedule ahead should keep things in order.

#4 Kaya FC-Makati

A three-game unbeaten run has put Kaya back as one of the top contenders after falling short against Ceres Negros. The Makati squad has somewhat regained some momentum after almost winning against Global and everyone in their way must watch out.

#5 Ceres-Negros

The other title favorite has flexed its muscles after losing midweek against fierce rivals Global in Cebu. The Negros squad came back to winning ways after winning with the biggest margin in the PFL so far with seven goals. Ceres will be looking forward to win all their games before their AFC Cup meeting with Home United.

#6 Davao Aguilas

The Southern squad had a golden chance to separate themselves from the other bottom teams but a Jason Cordova red card saw momentum swinging back to visitors Kaya, allowing them to take the full three points. Cordova has been given 2 reds this season and has affected three games so far with another coming up against Global. The Davao skipper should rethink his approach in the game as it has proven costly in the Aguilas maiden campaign.

Stallion Laguna

Stallion has been on a four-game skid after almost winning against league leaders Meralco two weeks prior. The Laguna squad have to rethink their strategy and maybe tap new players in the upcoming window to save the season.

Ilocos United

The Northern squad is in a quagmire after losing top players from their usual starting eleven. The transfer window might be of help to the debutantes as a lack of healthy players has been an issue in the past few weeks.

 

Some talking points before the Philippines Football League launch

The Philippines Football League (PFL) is set for a grand launch on April 21 for what is deemed to be the first professional league for football in the country. Here are some key talking points of the upcoming league prior to its launch.

What is the PFL?

For the benefit of readers outside of Philippine Football, the PFL is a professional football league in the Philippines that will be considered the highest level of mens football competition in the country. The league will see eight participating football clubs from all over the Philippines namely: Ilocos United, JPV Marikina, Kaya FC – Makati, Loyola Meralco Sparks, Stallion Laguna, Global Cebu, Ceres-Negros, and Davao Aguilas.

The eight teams will play a double-round home and away fixture that will see teams play 28 games each where they will play each other four times. The top four teams will will feature in what is called the Final Series where they will compete in home-and-away semifinal legs with the semifinal winners playing in a one game Grand Final. The league will also serve as a qualifier for the Philippines in the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup.

League details? What details?

Fans and the media alike have been in the dark with regard to the specifics of the league. High level information has been provided by PFF leadership regarding the participating teams, competition format, and official tv partner but basic things like the league logo, an initial fixture list, and official media platforms such as a website and facebook page were not made available in advance. Many superfans have resorted to creating their own support pages to generate discussion and even content to hype up the league.

A ‘Philippines Football League – PFL’ page exists but it seems to be made by a fan. I tried to create facebook pages under the Entertainment > Sports League category with the names of ‘Philippines Football League’ and ‘PFL’ and was successful. Also tried to create a duplicate PBA page under the same category but was not allowed to by the platform. My little experiment may not prove much but these little details or lack thereof may be telling. I’ll hold on to the facebook pages temporarily for safekeeping. In the case of match fixtures, they can be delayed given that a deal for broadcast has only been made recently and picking games for broadcast is known to be a difficult exercise. The mention of a logo being included in the launch gives everyone hope that most of the basics would be available come Friday.

The teams are ready to play

The only thing that is assured of in the league from the surface is that all the participating teams are ready to play. Global, Ceres, and Stallion started their pre-season early with the first two teams competing in continental competition. Stallion meanwhile has been the busiest with pre-season matches as early as January, a team and stadium launch, and an invitational tournament that was joined by most teams. Former United Football League teams like JP Voltes, Loyola, and Kaya have ramped up their preparation and tune-up games in the last few months to keep in step of the first three. The two debutantes in Davao Aguilas and Ilocos United seemed to have finalized their pool of players with Ilocos getting more familiar names and Davao doing a training camp with their young core in Singapore.

The teams have also secured their home stadiums, a task that is a feat in itself considering that most of the infrastructure is owned mostly by city and provincial governments. Securing the stadium is only half the problem as the improvements to the infrastructure and most importantly the field of play are necessary. The Marikina Sports Stadium pitch for example needs some improvement as a recent photo showed some areas of dryness and overuse. Most stadiums might also need to meet the minimum security criteria with the exception of Panaad and Rizal Memorial which has already passed stringent AFC standards.

What do we expect from the launch?

The official invite of the event describes it as the ‘Official Launch and Draw Ceremony’ of the Philippines Football League. The launch component is expected to provide all the finer details in the league and hopefully answers to the different details mentioned previously. Official league sponsors may also be present in the launch to promote the partnerships who will help bring the league forward.

What has not been mentioned though is the purpose of the draw ceremony. My best guess is that the draw will be the final step to fill-in an already made first round schedule and replace Team Numbers with actual club names. The opening match might be determined by this exercise.

Photo from the United Football League Philippines

[April Fools] Philippine Football League delayed to 2018

The upcoming Philippine Football League will be delayed to January 2018 according to a source in the Philippines Football Federation. The league was slated to start this April but was moved because of a major issue.

“We encountered a roadblock for the opening match,” said an anonymous source inside the federation. “We want to make this a very good opening for the league but met an unexpected challenge along the way,” the source added.

An interview with the interested teams also welcomed the delay of the league. “We cant move forward unless this problem is resolved,” said a team manager who requests for anonymity. “I mean we love the sport and we play football week in and week out and we but the federation needs to resolve the issue first before we start the league,” the team manager added.

Unconfirmed reports say that the Federation was planning an opening show in the grandest scale with song and dance numbers from top Filipino celebrities and international artists prior to the opening match. The opening however hit a snag when two teams fought over Lisa Soberano as the team muse in opening day. The issue is largely blamed to the actress’ manager whose a verbal commitment was secured by one team, but offered Lisa to another after cash was offered on the spot.

“It’s very ugly. I’m not talking about Lisa, I’m talking about situation” said the Philippines Football Federation source. “The teams have gone to court and hopefully it will be resolved on time for the opening. I hope it doesn’t reach the Supreme Court. Lisa is a very very beautiful actress and we want her to be in our opening day”. The actress nor the manager could not be reached for comment.

The Philippine Football League is not related to the Philippines Football League of the Philippine Football Federation. The Philippines Football Federation is a federation of American Football enthusiasts in the Philippines and must not be confused with the Philippine Football Federation that is involved with Soccer.