Playing at home, Ceres-La Salle draws motivation from fan support
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 11, 2016 10:41 PM
"We’re expecting the stadium to be jam-packed again." - Ceres-La Salle coach Franklin Muescan
As you exit the Bacolod-Silay Airport, one of the first things you see is a huge tarpauline that advertises Ceres-La Salle's upcoming home matches, against Singapore's Tampines Rovers on April 12, and against Bangladesh's Shiekh Jamal Dhanmondi on May 10th.
Drive around further, and you see more, smaller posters featuring the Ceres-La Salle players on every lamp post in Bacolod City, aside from the other bigger tarps placed in different locations.
This is how the city supports their very own club team, something that's rarely seen in Manila, even for national team games.
"I think the factor here is, when you say motivation, is the support of the fans." Ceres-La Salle head coach Franklin Muescan said in the pre-match press conference.
"We’re expecting the stadium to be jam-packed again." Muescan added, talking about the venue of Tuesday's match, the Panaad Stadium.
The last time that Ceres-La Salle played in Panaad Stadium, just last February, Negrense football fans filled the stadium and willed their home club to a comeback draw versus Malaysia's Selangor.
Now, they're hoping to will their boys to a win against Group E leaders Tampines Rovers of Singapore.
Originally slated to take place at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, the Negros Occidental Provincial Government decided to postpone the Pana-ad Festival in order to accomodate the all-important Ceres-Tampines match.
Muescan and Ceres skipper Juani Guirado said that it was a important for the team to be able to return home, especially after the week they had, which included a UFL semifinal match against fellow AFC Cup participants Kaya FC that went the distance in penalties.
Support Filipino football! Watch as Ceres-La Salle takes on Singapore's Tampines Rovers in the Group Stage of the 2016 AFC Cup! Watch it LIVE on ABS-CBN Sports+Action 23!