Gio Pabualan joins Air Force for 'Copa'

Right after his Azkals first team debut, Gio Pabualan joins another veteran-laden club. RM Chua/PFF (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Far Eastern University's campaign in the Copa Paulino Alcantara will be sans its main man.

Gio Pabualan is joining Air Force instead for the PFL-organized event as revealed by the league on Friday.

Pabualan is not the only Tamaraw who will wear blue instead of green for the Copa as Viejay Frigillano, the reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player, is also listed in Air Force's extended roster.

Behind Frigillano's brilliance as a defender and Pabualan's stellar game in the midfield and upfront, FEU reclaimed the UAAP men's football title last summer.

This time, however, Frigillano and Pabualan look to add their youthful energy to the veteran-laden Air Force squad which makes a PFL return through the Copa after four years.

Ageless Yanti Barsales remains the main man for Air Force, while former University of Santo Tomas keeper Zaldy Abraham is expected to don the #1 jersey anew for the club.

On the other hand, reigning UAAP Rookie of the Year Karl Absalon is now expected to have more responsibilities for the Tamaraws with Pabualan and Frigillano out.

Both FEU and Air Force have been grouped into a stacked Group A with reigning PFL champion Kaya-Iloilo, old rival Loyola, Don Bosco-Garelli, and CF Manila.

Pabualan and Frigillano will face their collegiate team on Sept. 2 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno