Bahadoran, Younghusband grace the Suzuki Cup tour's final stop

Misagh Bahadoran and James Younghusband are enjoing their time with the fans as the Suzuki Cup comes to the country's largest mall. (Photo by Mike Romero)

By Kevin Estrada

QUEZON CITY -- The Suzuki Cup came Saturday for the fourth and final leg of the Trophy Tour inside The Block of SM North Edsa that culminated the build-up for the eleventh edition of Southeast Asia's biggest football tournament.

It was the second straight year that the trophy came to the country, after it came in Market Market two years ago, with much fanfare being shown, noting that it will be the first time the country will host the group stages of the tournament.

The Azkals were represented by Misagh Bahadoran and James Younghusband who are AFF Championship veterans themselves. Both of them are looking forward to defend home-field advantage next week, starting with their Group A match with four-time titlists Singapore on the 19th.

"The final preparations have been made, and we've worked hard to make sure to be on the best frame of mind going to the tournament," said the Loyola midfielder who will be in his Azkals' record-setting fifth appearance in the biennial competition.

Bahadoran, who is in his second Suzuki Cup, said he's taking steps to recover just in time for the first Group A fixture. "It's all about winning the game, regardless of the result," he quoted.

After a short Q&A and photo ops with the supporters, both of them were made to swoon and sing with the trophy as part of a challenge not to handle the cup.

Younghusband has also given some advice to players who will be in their first AFF Championship such as Stephan Schrock and Javier Patino, in which he bared his plans for the upcoming tournament.

"They wanna play in it. It's great to have them on board, and really hope that they can give their best and we can go on to win it." he concluded.
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