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Davao City, Philippines

Allianz National Youth Futsal Invitational comes to Davao

April 06, 2019 - Saturday 9:04 PM by Daniel Joaquin

Article Banner Image (From left) Dwight Penano and Edgar Te of Davao South Region Football Association; Kevin Goco, Head of Futsal, PFF; Dany Moran, Chairman Henry V. Moran Foundation; Carol Bernas, Bancassurance Head, Allianz PNB Life; Aldrin Ancheta, Regional Business Manager for Bancassurance in Mindanao, Allianz PNB Life; and Rei Abrazaldo, Brand Communication and Digital Director, Allianz PNB Life. Photo by Daniel Joaquin

DAVAO CITY -- The Allianz National Youth Futsal Invitational (ANYFI), Allianz PNB Life Insurance, Inc.’s project in partnership with the Henry V. Moran Foundation with the help of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), is kicking off its third year next week with this edition’s first local elimination round in Tubod, Lanao del Norte with the next legs to take place in Koronadal on May 8 and 9 and in Davao on May 18 and 19.

Allianz Philippines held a press briefing on Saturday, April 6, at the Marco Polo Hotel here.

Rei Abrazaldo, Brand Communications and Digital Director of Allianz Philippines said “The sport of football has progressed a lot since we started our futsal invitational three years ago. We have sent our most talented Filipino players in one of the best, if not the best, football camps in Asia and Europe.”

Kevin Goco, Futsal Head of the PFF, highlighted that futsal is undergoing a reboot in the Philippines with programs focused on youth and grassroots sports development instead of forming national teams for international competitions.

Goco added that the lack of football fields and the number of available basketball courts across the country make it easy for Filipinos to enjoy futsal, which is highly complementary to football.

Danny Moran, Chairman of the Henry V. Moran Foundation, added that grassroots development is crucial in the case of futsal because kids as young as five years old or younger are already capable of playing the game, as opposed to basketball which is limited to bigger kids who are strong enough to throw the ball through the hoop.

Moran also acknowledged how local football organizations in Davao have been pushing for the increased recognition of futsal by athletes even before the PFF officially launched a campaign towards the growth of the sport.

He told the media that if they can encourage the children to come to the courts and play, they will be able to realize how much fun they can have while playing the sport.

Goco said that for this year, more than 4,000 players nationwide will be mobilized for all legs of the tournament.

He added that a total of 40 teams are expected to compete in the Davao local elimination round in May with the top four teams moving on to compete in the Mindanao qualifiers also to be held in Davao City on May 18 and 19.

This year, Allianz Philippines will give three players the opportunity to join a football camp in Singapore and another three players will be sent to a camp in Munich.

Other local qualifying legs will be held in Bacolod City; Lingayan, Pangasinan; Iloilo City; Cebu City; Muntinlupa, Metro Manila; and Angeles City, Pampanga.