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Current Laguna star Arboleda "excited" to face off against former star Sanchez in rare Friday kickoff vs Cebu

For the first time, Rufo Sanchez will take on the club that he lifted to championship glory.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Five years ago, Rufo Sanchez became an instant star for Stallion Laguna as he led the squad to the rare UFL double.

On Friday night, they meet again but at opposing sides.

Laguna will take on Cebu--and Sanchez--at the Biñan Football Stadium in Biñan in a rare PFL Friday kickoff at 4 p.m.

Emotions are expected to flow in this showdown following the drama that unfolded during the transfer window right after the said UFL season.

Sanchez signed with Cebu right after Laguna's 2012 conquest and even played for the squad in the Singapore Cup, but Laguna barred the said transfer from happening in the UFL and Sanchez packed for Thailand, where his stellar career continued.

News about Sanchez returning to the Philippines quickly spread like wildfire, but only a few saw his re-signing with Cebu coming as Ilocos loomed to be his likely destination as a source told Dugout Philippines only to be refuted by Ilocos itself.

Now parading a compelling offensive lineup consisting of long-time skipper Balot Doctora, Gabriele Mascazzini, Jhan-Jhan Melliza, and Fitch Arboleda, Laguna is still expected to give Cebu's backline problems at home.

Arboleda, however, looks forward to taking on Laguna's former main man.

"Never ko pa siyang nakalaro. Naririnig at nakikita ko lang sa TV dati, sa UFL. Sobrang galing niya. Number one striker ng UFL dati. Sobrang excited ako," said Arboleda.

Arboleda, however, vowed that Laguna will show to Sanchez how the club remains formidable despite his departure.

"Lalaban kami. At least, stop namin siya. Try naming manalo," Arboleda, who also acts as UE coach, bared the club's defensive plan.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno