Davao Aguilas-University of Makati has Kaya FC-Iloilo in its mind way before the semifinals happened.
That was a long time for Davao head coach Aber Ruzgal to contemplate against their 2023 Copa Paulino Alcantara Philippines Football League final opponent.
“When we were playing in the semifinals, my head was already thinking how to play against Kaya, I’m not being arrogant but I was able to study against Cebu (during the semifinals) but when it comes to the breaks of the game, I know we prepared on how they played,” Ruzgal said.
“That’s why I’m already looking forward to playing against Kaya.”
The final date is yet to be determined.
He said even before booking a spot in the final, he already wanted to play the reigning champion.
The semifinals ended with a 2-1 aggregate score in favor of Davao after a 1-0 win last 21 October before a 1-1 draw in the second leg last Friday to seal the deal.
The last time these two teams faced each other was at the inaugural final of the Cup in 2018 where Kaya prevailed, 1-0, despite Davao fielding the likes of Phil and James Younghusband, goalkeeper Patrick Deyto and Matthew Hartmann.
With a new crew on board led by Yannick Tuazon and Paolo Bugas, Ruzgal is optimistic about their chances of finally winning the coveted Copa and forgetting the loss in 2018.
He also said they will be making the most of the time to prepare as Kaya will be competing in the Asian Football Confederation Champions League before the final.
“The finals will be anybody’s game so let’s hope for the best for the team,” Ruzgar said.