AFC-bound Azkals hone up in Suzuki Cup Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) – April 5, 2018 – 12:00am MANILA, Philippines — Before their breakthrough appearance on Asia’s biggest stage in January 2019, the Philippine Azkals will first embark on an equally important mission on the Southeast Asian front – the AFF Suzuki Cup in November. “It will certainly be a priority,” Azkals team manager Dan Palami said of the biennial Asean meet, which has a sentimental value having served as the Pinoy booters’ springboard to prominence in 2010. “Doon tayo nagsimula (That’s where the team started) and that’s a very good preparation for the Asian Cup (set two months after),” he added. The Azkals made a surprising semifinal appearance in the Suzuki Cup in the so-called “Miracle in Hanoi” eight years ago, kicking off Azkals-mania and emboldening them to aspire for greater things. After two more Last 4 stints in 2012 and 2014, Phl XI fell short when the country hosted one of the groups two years ago, a debacle the Filipinos hope to atone for this year. Palami said given the schedule, local and Asean-based stalwarts will likely be tapped for the Suzuki Cup campaign.