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Philippine Women's National Team held final trials for ACQ

The team of hopefuls overseen by Head Coach Buda Bautista.
By Earl Averilla


TAGUIG -- The PFF Women’s Football coaching staff, led by Head Coach Buda Bautista, has just completed the final day of tryouts for locally-based hopefuls for the Women’s National Football Team in preparation for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers to be held in Tajikistan in April.

In the trials that started last February 22, Twenty-one booters coming from Ateneo, FEU, La Salle, and Outkast have attended the session in Mckinley Hill which comprised of sets of fitness and situational drills, and tactical huddles. The meeting was then capped by a twenty minute scrimmage to further confirm the current in-play capabilities of the potential national team representatives.

After the tryouts, Coach Buda shared in this interview that she expected more to attend the final tryout session, but in spite of the lower than expected attendance, she was optimistic about what she saw with the performance of the talents at hand.

“Maayos naman but we’re expecting na mas marami because it’s the last day of the tryouts and ang maganda nga is the UAAP (pertaining to the UAAP board responsible for football), I heard, they already support (the women’s national team program) na i-aadjust yung (UAAP Women’s football 2nd round calendar). So I was expecting more (athletes to attend). However in terms of the performance and executions of the players (who attended), it’s better compared to the last two tryouts. Mas nakuha na nila yung tactics na pinresent.”

Asked if, from the three sessions, there is already a certain list of players being considered to make up the core of the squad, Coach Buda replied, “Actually meron na initially, na hindi naman lumabas (pertaining to a no-show of players). So, from the three sessions, meron na kaming nakikitang around twenty-five players.”

Lastly, when asked about the next activities to follow regarding further scrimmages or friendlies, she added “Meron pang last session on March 7-9. These will be tryouts for overseas-based talents which will make a final list of thirty players. After that we’ll have pickup games that will simulate the schedule of Asian Cup.”

The 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers are scheduled from April 3-12 in Pamir Stadium in Dushanbe.

Follow him on Twitter: @earlaverilla
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