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Bacolod City, PhilippinesTuesday, June 12, 2012
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Azkals vs. Guam at
Panaad tonight

When the Philippine Azkals play against the Guam national football team tonight, 7 p.m. at the Panaad Football field, the Filipinos will be up against a competitive team that hopes to improve its performance in the East Asian Football Championship in July.

In a press conference yesterday, Guam’s head coach Gary White said their team is ready for the Azkals and they came prepared for the match.

While the Guam side is ranked lower than the Philippines in the FIFA rankings, White said the present roster of players is well-selected and some of them played for top college and universities in the US.

The underdog tag, White said, will not matter when both teams are in the field playing football.

Included in the lineup of Guam are six players with Filipino blood – Ian Mariano (4), Ian Adamos (8), Randy Espinosa (20), Christian Schweizer (3), Reyn Johnson (14), and Thaddeus Atalig (17).

Espinosa said his grandfather told him that his relatives live in Bacolod and it will be his chance to get to know his Filipino roots.

He added that his mother’s surname is Navarette and she is also a Filipina.

Like the other five players in the team with Filipino blood, Espinosa said he was happy to be in Bacolod City and was amazed with the warmth reception they received from the people.

Earlier, Azkals coach Michael Weiss said the series of friendly matches against teams from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Guam will help the team in its preparation for the Suzuki Cup late this year.

He added that it will be a good game against Guam and football followers in Negros Occidental will be at the Panaad pitch tonight to watch the two squads play.

Ticket prizes for tonight’s game at the Panaad are pegged at P200, P400, P600, and P1,000.

Organizers are selling tickets at Panaad starting 9 a.m. today. Other ticket outlets are: Luxur Place, Mushu, Robinsons Place, Sky Cable, Seeds Outlets Scrubbles @888, Shakey’s Lacson, Café Bobs, ABS-CBN, and the Tourism Office.*NAB

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