'Finals Series' makes comeback in PFL bubble

'Finals Series' makes comeback in PFL bubble

Despite being the second seed, United City reigned supreme in the 2017 PFL Finals Series to become the league champion. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The huge twist that helped decide the PFL champion three years ago is back.

League commissioner Coco Torre confirmed to Dugout Philippines on Friday that a knockout stage will take place in the middle of November.

Known in 2017 as the "Finals Series", the PFL playoffs will pit the top four clubs at the end of the short regular season.

Like the usual semifinal seeding, the top team after the eliminations will take on the fourth seed in one match-up, while the second and third seeds will face off in the other playoff match.

The victors in the semifinals will face off in the final to determine the PFL champ.

In the only time the PFL used the Final Four format, Meralco Manila, which finished the season on top of the table, was shockingly knocked out in the two-legged semifinals against fourth seeded Global Makati, the de facto defending champion for being the top team in the 2016 UFL season.

United City, formerly known as Ceres Negros, would go on to win the PFL title despite being the second seed, edging Kaya Iloilo in their own semifinal tie and essentially dethroning Global Makati in the championship match.

In the next two seasons, the PFL went away with the Finals Series and crowned the champion the usual way, that is, to the top team after the regular season.

This season, both semifinals will be rubber matches on Nov. 12-13, while the final will happen on Nov. 16.

As part of a bubble, all matches will happen at the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona.

This year's PFL champion will enter the AFC Champions League group stages outright next year, while the runner will play in the AFCCL qualifying stages.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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