Ceres-Negros FC arrived in the Vietnamese capital early Sunday morning, ahead of their opening match on Tuesday. The team will face Vietnamese powerhouse Hanoi FC who was crowned champions of last years V.League 1.
“We know that Hanoi is a very strong club, strong team, they’ve been in AFC (competitions) for a while being in AFC Champions League qualification all the time. They have been for how many years been very consistent in the Vietnam league which is i think one of the strongest leagues in Southeast Asia. They’ve been second or champions for more than seven years so there very consistent and I think if we are coming in this game not prepared, I don’t think we’re gonna get something,” said Ceres Club Director Ali Go.
The Bacolod squad had completed their preparations securing important friendlies leading to the the AFC Cup group stage campaign. “Preparation wise, I think we did the best we could. It could have been better but with time constraints due to the new season coming in, we had to adjust. All-in-all we did what we could do to prepare well for this upcoming game. I think we know what were supposed to do,” the former Ceres mentor added.
Ceres longtime player and Co-Captain Carli de Murga also shares the same sentiment as Go. “The team is ready. We have good preparation. Well in Singapore we were supposed to play three games but finally we just played two. But also in Manila, we played games and we’ve been training hard.”
The Busmen added plenty of veterans and national team players to compliment the current core. De Murga believes that they have done enough in the past weeks to solidify the team. “The new guys who joined the team, I think already know how the coach and how the team wants to perform. We are ready to compete,” the Ceres veteran added.
The Hanoi-Ceres match will be broadcast live on February 21 (Tuesday) over Fox Sports 2 with kickoff set at 7PM Philippine time.