Twenty-four teams from across the country are seeing action in the Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) Cup 2019 in this city.

The nine-a-side tournament for Under 13 boys, being held at Sta. Maria Field Football until Sunday, kicks off with the elimination round from Thursday to Saturday morning.

The quarterfinals is set on Saturday afternoon while the semifinals is scheduled on Sunday morning. The finals is slated on Sunday afternoon.

Reigning champion One La Salle, one of the eight teams from Luzon, is returning to defend their title.

The rest of the Luzon-based squads are Ceres Youth FC, Claret School of Quezon City, Federated Football Association of Masbate, Hedcen, Loyola FC, Makati FC, and Sugod Malaya FC.

The 11 teams from Visayas include Bacong FC, Barotac Nuevo FC, Baybay FC Jaguars, Don Bosco FC-Cebu, Dynamic FC, Green Global FC, Janiuaynon Defenders FCI, Kidz United FC, LGU Barotac Nuevo, Negros Oriental-Siquijor Regional Football Association (Nosirfa) and Panay FA.

The five Mindanao teams are Davao Crocs FC, Golden Harvest, Marist Kidapawan, Mt. Apo Regional FA, and Marawi Ground Zero Team, which is among those competing for the first time in the biggest local grassroots football tournament.

NOFA president Ricardo Yanson Jr. said the NOFA Cup, now on its fourth year, seeks to provide young Filipino players high-level and quality competition.

“This is an opportunity where they can share their talents and learn from each other to supplement their personal growth,” said Yanson, who welcomed the teams with Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. at SMX Convention Center Bacolod on Wednesday night.

The 4th NOFA Cup draws the most number of competitors since 2015, with about 500 players coming from 24 teams. Only 12 teams participated during its debut four years ago. (PNA)

Photo caption:

FOOTBALL TOURNEY. Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. (right) and NOFA president Ricardo Yanson Jr. (2nd from right) with the young players of Marawi Ground Zero Team, who are competing for the first time in the NOFA Cup 2019. Both officials welcomed the 24 participating teams in a dinner at SMX Convention Center Bacolod on Wednesday night (May 29, 2019). (Photo courtesy: Richard Malihan/NegOcc Capitol PIO)

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