MANILA, Philippines - The Filoil Flying V Sports has linked up with the Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association to stage the first-ever collegiate pre-season football tournament dubbed as the 2012 IPPCA Football Pre-Season Cup firing off Sunday at Nuvali football grounds in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Fourteen teams, coming from both the UAAP and the NCAA, and two guest squads in the varsity division make up the league which also features 12 teams in the juniors category.
The UAAP side will be backstopped by back-to-back champion University of the Philippines, last year's runner-up University of Santo Tomas and perennial contender Far Eastern University, while the NCAA will parade powerhouse squads, San Beda College, which won 10 of the last 11 championships, and last year’s runner-up College of St. Benilde.
Rizal Technological University and University of Makati are also in the mix, as they aim to play the spoiler's role in the month-long tournament organized by Filoil Flying V Sports and sponsored by Nuvali, Molten, StarSports Korea/Topcoms, Nature’s Spring, Gastropub Bar and Bacchus Energy Drink.
League co-chairman Joey Guillermo said during yesterday's PSA Forum at Shakey's Malate the tournament's main purpose is to prepare the teams for the coming football season of both the UAAP and the NCAA.
"Just like in our basketball league, we also came up with the idea of holding a pre-season football tournament to sharpen the skills of collegiate players," said Guillermo.
He added that games will be played every Sunday at the Nuvali grounds, but may also be held on Saturdays depending on the availability of the Nuvali pitch, which he described as a "good one."
The semifinals and finals, however, will be held at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, which was recently refurbished for the recent Peace Cup.
The league is led by its chairman, Fer Martinez, who is also the president of the IPPCA, which counts 15 members from the country's "small" players in the oil industry.