Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Mendiola FC 1991 will enter the Philippines Football League (PFL) Copa Paulino Alcantara 2021 with a revitalized squad.

/ 8 November 2021

Along with its founding anniversary, the squad also celebrates another major breakthrough in the club’s history as the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) First Instance Body grants the team an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup License.

If the team is able to conquer this year’s PFL Copa Paulino Alcantara, the said license will allow Mendiola FC to compete in the prestigious AFC Cup.

“We would like to thank the PFF and the AFC for recognizing our club and granting us an AFC Cup license. Playing in the AFC was the dream of our founders, Coach Aris Caslib and the late Coach Felix Servita when they organiz3ed the club in 1991. Now we are much closer to that dream,” said Mendiola FC team manager Erwin Guevarra Isla.

“The license is also a motivation for our players to win this year’s PFL Cup so we can represent the country in the AFC Cup,” Isla added. 

Mendiola FC was founded in the summer of 1991 and was composed of former football players of what was then San Beda College located in the streets of Mendiola—thus its name.

As one of the oldest existing football clubs in the Philippines, Mendiola FC went from joining summer tournaments in Metro Manila to competing in major leagues and bigger competitions such as the 1997 Adidas U19 Championship where they were hailed as champions, the United Football League First and Second Divisions, and the 2011 Smart National Football Club Championship where the team landed second. In 2019 the team joined the PFL.

Among the players who wore the jersey of Mendiola FC include former Azkals Phil and James Younghusband.

Boosted by the support from kit maker FAT Sports Indonesia and health care company Best Diagnostic Corporation (creator of the Mr. Swabber PH app), Mendiola FC is fielding a team composed of experienced players, standouts from UAAP and NCAA, and breakout stars in youth football.

The revitalized squad will be headed by the team’s skipper Jim Ashley Flores and co-captain Hamed Hajimahdi are rejoined by mainstays Aaron Altiche, Nimrod Balabat, Marvin Bricenio, PJ Fadrigalan, Joshua Polinag, James Pangasian, Jon Carlos, and Jay-R Sandoval. Foreigner players Daniel Ashley from Ghana, Hosni Dosso from Ivory Coast, Kim Minsu of South Korea enhance the lineup, together with Jose Miguel Clarino, formerly of UP and United City FC.

The Copa Paulino Alcantara 2021 also marks the debut of San Beda University Football players with Mendiola FC. 

These include Miguel Artillera, Reinhard Colasito, Jimson Crestal, Eric Manlapas, Kenneth Payosalan, Lorenzo Sabado, Mark Castillo, Keith Edulan, EC Rasonable, Christopher Villanueva, Ralph Datoy, Vince Baito, NCAA MVP Jesse Semblante of the U-23 Azkals, and 30th SEA Games national players Mariano Suba, Jr., and Michael Asong.  

“We’ve upgraded our program not just for the (PFL) Cup and League, but also for the future AFC Cup and hopefully for the AFC Champions League,” said Mendiola FC Head Coach Dan Padernal. 

“Our objective is to provide high-quality level of football and opportunities for the youth to reach their maximum playing potential, and encourage discipline and commitment on and off the pitch,” Isla emphasized.