At 3:30 p.m. today, Ceres-Negros will play the biggest match in the club's 6-year-old history when The Busmen play against Tianjin Quanjian in the playoffs of the AFC Champions League in the Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium in China.
Arriving in Tianjin early this morning after 8-9 hours of travel from the Philippines, the Filipino side will have to battle through jetlag and freezing weather condition.
It may not be an ideal condition for everyone but the team is ready to give their best, club administrator Nicolas Golez who was unfazed by the visa problem the squad encountered earlier,said.
The team, he said, has the unwavering support of the management and they know that the fans back home will be praying for them.
The task ahead will be tough for the Busmen as they will try to conquer a team that finished third in their first season in the Chinese Super League.
"With Alexandre Pato, Anthony Modeste and Axel Witsel, they possess a potent attacking line up that is complemented by Chinese internationals Wang Yongpo, Yang Xu and Sun Ke," a report in the AFC website said.
Despite being the underdog, the Busmen will bring into the game their solid belief in each other, the impressive cohesion of working and playing together that earned them the AFC ASEAN Zone title and the Philippines Football League inaugural crown.
As Bievenido Maranon said after Ceres beat the Brisbane Roar, 3-2, last week, the team has been amazing and they have been playing great football lately.
This optimism might just lift the Busmen past Tianjin Quanjian and carry them through the AFC Champions League group stage.*NAB
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