The Philippines Girls Under-16 National Team had a spirited run in their AFF U16 Girls’ Championship campaign in Palembang, Indonesia over the past two weeks.
The tournament, which was held last 1-13 May 2018, saw the Philippines miss out on the knockout stage having finished in last place with 1 draw and 3 losses.
This was the first time in 3 years that the Girls team did not advance to the knockout stages having gone all the way to the final in the past two years.. The Philippines incurred losses to Malaysia (0-2), Vietnam (0-3), and Myanmar (1-7) with the only point coming from the 1-1 draw with Singapore.
The tournament, which was moved to an earlier date than originally scheduled, was seen by head coach Marielle Benitez a vital learning experience for the girls.
“There’s a lot of lessons to take away from the tournament. We selected the best team that was ready to compete in the AFF,” said Benitez. “The girls and the coaches were all committed to the campaign, and we’re happy to see what the girls are capable of in the international level. The team is young with 18 out of the 22 girls getting their first international experience. The girls continued to improve every match and never gave up even when we were losing the match.”
PFF general-secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes thanked the team for their gallant effort in the tournament.
“We thank the players for their gutsy performance in the AFF U16 Girls’ Championship,” said Gastanes. “Although they missed the knockout stage for the first time in three years, they gained meaningful experience. We look forward to the team in the AFC Under-16 Women’s Championship Qualifiers later this year.”