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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, May 5, 2016
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Ceres eyes top finish
in AFC Cup Qualifier

Ceres-La Salle FC will gun for a win against Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi when the two teams face each other in the final match of the Group E Qualifier of the AFC Cup at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City, 7 p.m. on May 10.

A victory will give Ceres the top spot in the group and a home advantage in the Round of 16, the knockout match of the tournament.

Head coach Franklin Muescan said the busmen know this and they will be out there on Tuesday playing, not only for themselves and the team, but for their family, country, and the Ceres FC management.

“It is a good thing that we have already qualified for the next round but it will be much better to finish on a high note. That is our goal and we need to accomplish that,” head coach Franklin Muescan said.

He said the team had a meeting yesterday and they know that every game is important. The 2-3 loss at the hands of Loyola Meralco six days ago at the start of their title retention bid in the ULF League was a wake- up call, Muescan said.

“We realized that we can not afford to relax as we might lose the opportunity to be in next year's AFC Cup. We need to continue working hard,” he also said.

While there is no excuse in dropping their first match in the UFL League, Muescan said the tight schedule and the condition of the players, in addition to the unavailability of the field for practice were factors to consider.

Coming off a tough match against Selangor FA in Malaysia three days before their UFL game, he said the players were not able to recover well.

“We played without much preparation but it's no excuse and we learned our lesson from that,” Muescan said, adding that the players are now in the mindset of winning the match against the visiting team from Bangladesh and finish on top of the group.

“We are able to address the problem and come up with the solution. We are determined to have a good result both in the AFC Cup and the UFL League,” the Ceres coach added.

Meanwhile, Fil-Spanish Juani Guirado, who recently opted to retire as member of the Philippine Azkals, said that the injured players of Ceres are recovering well and they are all getting better at trainings and practices.

Guirado said he wants to play in every Ceres' match but whether he gets into the field or not will be the decision of his coach.

Playing for Ceres for almost two years now, Guirado said he is very satisfied with his home club and he is thankful to the management for the opportunity of playing for the team.

Despite coming from different countries and cultures, Guirado said the busmen are doing good as a team and they bring in different football mentality that has helped them to be where they are right now.*NAB


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