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Renewed optimism shared as PFF and Clubs hopeful for PFL's success

The Logo of the PFL on its launch night.
By Kevin Estrada

TAGUIG -- Everyone at BGC's Shangri-La at the Fort last Friday night had expressed nothing but optimism once the Philippines Football League kicks off a fortnight from now.

This was almost the same sentiment shared not just by the PFF, but also to the participating clubs who took part in the grandiose and momentous launch at the posh hotel.

"Of course this is the first professional league for the Philippines, and we're happy that it's pushing through. Hopefully it will be successful, and we're there to support. The teams are excited, and hopefully the same goes to the fans in the provinces," PFF President Mariano Araneta contemplated after a fruitful month for Philippine football.

Araneta added that he hopes that the intense regional pride in sports that was once made by the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association will spark once again when the PFL kicks off on May 6.

"Of course. We already have rivalries and that will continue in this new format because now they were supported by their respective community," Araneta later quoted.

The newly-named Meralco Manila is now looking sharp and complete, according to former Maldita veteran Isabella Fernando who is looking forward to the league, her first as the club's general manager.

"Now I think we are more complete in every position and I'm very confident in all the players we've signed for this league and I'm excited," Fernando quoted.

Excitement was the main theme when the people representing the pioneering clubs of the league, where they will they will do our best to make their locale proud.

For Kaya's Paul Tolentino, the stars were aligned for them to make their home in Makati where the club was founded 21 years ago.

"We're gonna have to work with Makati and the surrounding neighborhoods to get the people to understand what Kaya's about and have them care about the club and come to support us," Tolentino said, added that he .

JPV Marikina's Dan Padernal says that they are ready to join the PFL since December and has made considerable ground work to prepare for the upcoming season.

"Today's the first step. It's history," the former Global mentor said, as they will open their season against his former club on May 7 at home, and he is confident that they will replicate the shocking upset they made against the last UFL titlists last season.

"It's a new era for Philippine football, so we're happy with the way it's gone so far. I was talking to one of the owners after the launch, and I said after the event, now the hard work starts," Global-Cebu chair Dan Palami quipped.

Known for being the most active side in the offseason, Stallion-Laguna's Ernest Nierras says that winning their own invitational tournament helps a lot for them.

"That's very important. You set the tone for the year for the players. The expectations, always with me, is always high," the feisty gaffer said adding that he is also glad with the support they receive in Binan.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada
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