MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Azkals have been bunched in a lighter group alongside Timor Leste, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Malaysia after the ceremonial drawing of lots ahead of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
The draw was conducted on Tuesday at Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
The Malaysians, the runners-up in 2017, are poised to provide the biggest challenge to the Azkals' in men's football. Only the top two teams from each group will progress to the semifinals.
Defending champion Thailand joined bronze medalist Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei, and Singapore in Group A.
The Philippine Malditas, the country's women's football team, got Myanmar and Malaysia in Group A. It is a less punishing group compared to Group B, which has defending champion Vietnam, silver medalist Thailand, and Indonesia.
Meanwhile, the Philippine women's volleyball team will play in a single round-robin format along with Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Singapore.
This, as only five teams confirmed their participation in the event.
The men's squad selected Group B, where they will play defending silver medalist Indonesia, bronze medalist Vietnam along with Cambodia. They avoided Group A, which has defending champion Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar and Timor Leste.
Badminton, underwater hockey, sepak takraw and water polo also held their own draw to determine the groupings during the 11-nation sportsfest on November 30 to December 11 in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac; Subic and Metro Manila.
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