Number “23” seems to be the lucky number for the followers of Azkals U-23, as Studio 23 will be the only SEA Games carrier in the Philippines to air all the football matches live.
After the action-packed initial game with group powerhouse Vietnam, the Azkals team will go against SEA Games’ youngest member Timor Leste on November 7, Monday at 4:30p.m.
For this preliminary bout, the Azkals have a good chance of winning, as Timor Leste’s football team has not achieved any international milestones yet since its debut in the AFC Cup in 2004. The team also tried competing in the ASEAN Football Federation Championship in 2004 as an invited member, but it finished last place—an implication that the team still has a long way to go before they can penetrate a more prestigious arena.
But the Azkals must still not relax as they will also face the equally fierce Laos football team. Their match will air live on November 11, Friday, 4:30p.m., prior to the Opening Ceremonies which will have the country’s very own Lea Salonga in a production number with Indonesia’s top singer and actress Agnes Monica and Malaysian Idol Jacklyn Victor.
Laos football team coach Hans-Peter Schaller is determined to win in the SEA Games. The Austrian coach wants to outdo his team’s achievement when it finished fourth in the 25th SEA Games.
Another must-see Azkals game is against Myanmar on November 13, Monday, 4:30p.m. Myanmar boasts of its nine new members. Will they be able to beat the passion-driven will of the Azkals to win?
Filipinos’ “bayanihan” trait with neighbors might not work this time, as the Azkals try to beat abutting country Brunei in match that will also be aired live on November 15, Wednesday, 7:30p.m.
After a 10-year-absence, Brunei makes a return to the Under-23 football competition. The team’s head coach was happy to have been drawn in Group B alongside Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, the Philippines and Timor Leste.
Meanwhile, the 20-man Azkals U-23 is led by Jason De Jong, the midfielder from the senior Azkals. Footballers who played in the recently held Long Teng Cup in Taiwan namely midfielders Jeff Christiaens and Matthew Hartmann ; defenders; Carlos Alberto De Murga, Neckson Leonora and Raymark Fernandez, and goalkeeper Roland Muller also joined the team, together with UAAP standouts OJ Clarino of University of Sto. Tomas and striker Jinggoy Valmayor of University of the Philippines.
Catch all these football action live on Studio 23.