Philippines Football League clubs Ceres Negros FC and Kaya FC Iloilo will represent the Philippines in the 2019 AFC Club Competitions after their respective successful campaigns in the PFL 2018 season.
As the 2018 Philippines Football League champions, Ceres Negros once again earned a berth to the AFC Champions League preliminary rounds where they will have another chance to reach the group stages after missing out this year.
Ceres will begin their AFC Champions League run when they host Yangon United of Myanmar in the first preliminary round on 5 February 2019. Should they win that match, the Bacolod side will face Changrai United of Thailand in the second preliminary round on 12 February 2019. The play-off round will be held on 19 February 2019 against the third placed team from Japan.
Should Ceres fail to qualify for the AFC Champions League group stage, they will join 2018 Copa Paulino Alcantara winners Kaya FC Iloilo in the AFC Cup Group Stages.
Ceres are in Group G and will face Becamex Binh Duong of Vietnam, Shan United of Myanmar, and either the first or third placed team from Indonesia.
Kaya, on the other hand, are in Group H and will face Home United of Singapore, Lao Toyota of Laos, and the second placed team from Indonesia.
Davao Aguilas FC, which finished third in the league and runners up in the cup, is on standby as Ceres Negros’ replacement in the AFC Cup should the Negros side qualify to the AFC Champions League group stages.
The three clubs, nominated by the PFF to participate in the AFC Club Competitions for 2019, must adhere to the AFC Club Licensing regulations.
“We congratulate Ceres Negros FC and Kaya FC Iloilo as the Philippines’ representatives in the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup respectively. We hope that Davao Aguilas FC also makes it to the AFC Cup as Ceres’ replacement if the latter advance to the AFC Champions League group stages” said PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes. “The steady rise of professional club football in the Philippines is a testament to the hard work of our local clubs and players.”