Women’s football takes center stage in Dumaguete City as 16 all-girl teams from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao square off at the 5th Pinay In Action (PIA) Football Cup from January 10-12.
The advocacy arm of Senator Pia S. Cayetano, Pinay In Action holds tournaments and clinics in different regions to help develop local football talents, particularly among young girls.
“PIA Cup’s objective is to empower girls, one goal at a time. We believe that football is a sport where Filipinos have great potential to excel in the ASEAN region,” said the senator, a sports enthusiast and former national athlete.
“Teaching sports also instills confidence and discipline among the youth, and helps them stay away from illegal drugs and other harmful vices like smoking and drinking,” added Cayetano, the principal sponsor of the Sin Tax Bill.
Bannering the 16-strong field that have signed up for the 9v9 women’s open tournament is defending champion University of the Philippines (UP), which ruled the fourth edition of the PIA Cup held last January in Davao City.
Tipped to challenge the defending champs anew for this year’s title is the University of Sto. Tomas (UST), the 4th PIA Cup runner-up.
Both battle-tested from the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) football wars, the Lady Maroons and Lady Tigers are considered the top seeds in the three-day tournament to be held at the Governor Mariano F. Perdices Memorial Sports Complex.
Meanwhile, futboleras from the Visayas are expected to bring their a-game to the pitch as well, with Silliman University Women’s Football Team and Kachella Football Club leading the charge as the hometown teams representing the host city and province.
Rounding up the Visayas cast are the Negros Occidental Football Club from Bacolod City; Footboleras Football Club from Negros Oriental; and Tayud United Football Club from Cebu City.
Meanwhile, teams from Mindanao include the UP Mindanao Women’s Football Team from Davao City; Redcorals United Football Club Hermusoras from Zamboanga City; Tiago Football Club from Dapitan City; Dipolog Bad Bonitas from Dipolog City; Maharlika United Football Club from Kidapawan City; FC95 Iligan City from Lanao del Norte; and Stonefield Football Club Damas from Ozamiz City.
The 5th PIA Cup is organized by PIA in partnership with the Negros Oriental-Siquijor Regional Football Association (NOSIRFA). The event is also being supported by the Provincial Government of Negros Oriental, City Government of Dumaguete, and Negros Oriental 2nd District Representative Manuel ‘Chiquiting’ Sagarbarria.
Other sponsors include Bethel Guesthouse, Gabby’s Bistro, Ziplink Graphix, and Negros Oriental State University.
The annual sporting event will be covered by the organizers’ official media partners, the Negros Chronicle and DYEM 96.7 Bai Radio.