Archives For Sports

(From left) Sports Vision Management Group President Ricky Palou, GMA Network Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon and Sports Vision Management Group Chairman Moying Martelino

(From left) Sports Vision Management Group President Ricky Palou, GMA Network Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon and Sports Vision Management Group Chairman Moying Martelino

Some of the league’s star players were also present including, (from left) Pau Soriano, Aby Maraño, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, Pauline Genido, Hezzymie Acuña, Jaja Santiago, Cha Soriano, Sue Roces, Sarah Jane Espelita, Nelet Clarete and Angeli Tabaquero.

Some of the league’s star players were also present including, (from left) Pau Soriano, Aby Maraño, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, Pauline Genido, Hezzymie Acuña, Jaja Santiago, Cha Soriano, Sue Roces, Sarah Jane Espelita, Nelet Clarete and Angeli Tabaquero.

GMA Logo

GMA Logo

GMA Network once again brings the latest on-court action in the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Open Conference to volleyball enthusiasts across the globe.


In a contract signing held recently (March 30) at GMA Network Center, GMA partnered with Sports Vision Management Group to air the games locally on GMA News TV and internationally through GMA’s second international channel GMA Life TV beginning this April.


Present at the contract signing were GMA Network Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon, Sports Vision Management Group Chairman Moying Martelino, and Sports Vision Management Group President Ricky Palou.


Some of the league’s most prominent players include collegiate volleyball aces Alyssa Valdez, Denden Lazaro, Jaja Santiago, Abigail Maraño, Ma. Angeli Tabaquero, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Fille Sainte Cainglet-Cayetano, Rossan Fajardo, Sarah Jane Espelita, Pauline May Genido, and Hezzymie Acuña.


Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Open Conference will see PLDT, Navy, Meralco, Fourbees, Baguio, Philippine Coast Guard, Cagayan Valley, and the defending champions from the Philippine Army team vie for the Championship this season.


In light of the management’s decision to air the League’s games, Gozon highlights the sport’s popularity as evidenced by audience turnout during finals games. “Every year kinukuha natin ito para ipalabas sa GMA News TV. And as you know, nagiging popular itong volleyball, particularly sa women’s division.” [We air this every year on GMA News TV. And as you know, volleyball has become popular, particularly the women’s division.]


“We can expect a better tournament [this season],” he adds.


On behalf of Sports Vision, Palou says, “We expect the games to have better coverage as far as airtime is concerned and we’re very happy with the relationship. We’re looking forward to a longer-term relationship.”


GMA News TV has been the league’s official television partner since 2013, while GMA International has been airing select matches through the Network’s international channels since 2011.


Locally, matches will be shown on GMA News TV Channel 11 from Monday to Thursday at 1:00 PM, and fromSaturday to Sunday at 12:45 PM, after Balitanghali Weekend. All Sunday matches will be aired live while the matches from Monday to Saturday will be shown on a delayed telecast basis.


For the airing schedule of the games on GMA Life TV, visit

Our government cannot implement changes within each of its many departments, which is why we are lagging behind our Asian counterparts.  It is because each individual, especially those who are in the higher chain of command, has each their own agenda.  Changes that is crucial for the country to grow are being hampered, as it might prove to be a money losing option for the departments management.  Each one is in it to enrich himself/herself, no one is looking for the benefit of the country, and for the improvement of the lives of millions of Filipinos, impoverished or otherwise.

Why can’t we copy or duplicate the methods used by other countries in implementing changes that would improve the lives of its citizens? Do not think of it as not being original, or plagiarizing, but think of it as improving the lives of every Filipino.

In Hong Kong, the Mass Transit Railway is controlled by the government, and so is the payment system that it uses, the Octopus Card.  They have proven and shown that the business is sound and profitable earning the government billions of dollars in revenue, while at the same time creating a clean, convenient, and comfortable mass transport and payment system, that has been a great factor in improving the lives of its citizens.  Why can’t we adopt their system, and duplicate it here? What is stopping us?

Why are our airports dilapidated and in shambles? Where has all the money that has been invested into it go? Why do we need too many terminals? Can’t we create one mega terminal to service all of the flights? This would eliminate unnecessary employment to numerous individuals, who sometimes do nothing, and just sit around, beefing up their pockets? Why can’t we copy Hong Kong (again), and the way it runs its airport? Their airport and ours are so far apart.  The only difference I see here is because the head of the governments, compliment and continue what the previous head of government has done, unlike here, the new one undermines and destroys the good that the previous one has done.  Don’t they know that these improvements would have bettered the lives of the millions of Filipinos?

Why are our mass transport systems unstructured and in shambles? Why are there numerous buses who are old, and dilapidated that still ply the streets, which breakdown, create traffic, and causes accidents? Why are their franchises renewed time and time again, and are not revoked even if their buses have cause numerous accidents, and unnecessary deaths? Why are there so many taxis, jeeps, tricycles, and other forms of mass transport franchises that are approved, even if the streets are littered with them, who do not have passengers?

Why does the government not install solar powered lights or provide solar energy to those affected by disaster, and isolation, even if it takes years for the energy providers to repair or install light or power? Why does the government wait and see, and not help improve the plight of the Filipinos? Are they afraid that power generators/energy suppliers complain? They can remove or pull out these improvements, when they have repaired or installed light or electricity, and simply transfer or reuse them again when the need arise.

I am not one to complain, but I have seen enough suffering and not enough action, that it has left me wondering and disgruntled by the inept and inaction that our government is doing.  When can we be proud? When can we say that our lives have improved? When will our descendants see the day that our beloved Philippines, is at par with the rest of the world, or at least with its Asian neighbors?

Qatar_Cesar followed by a support vehicleThe first Filipino global runner and the “Father of Ultramarathon” in the Philippines Cesar Guarin is back from his successful Middle East run, which lasted 30 days from April 15 to May 17, and covered a total distance of 932 kilometers.


After running in six countries in the Middle East, Guarin continues to bring pride to his countrymen through his global pursuit to join the ranks of elite global runners numbering less than 10 worldwide.


GMA International, the international arm of leading broadcast company GMA Network, has been a staunch supporter of the veteran distance runner since his Australian leg last year and has once again renewed their partnership with Guarin and The Global Run (GR) team for this ME leg.


“We are proud of Mr. Cesar Guarin for successfully completing his Middle East run, which was deemed as his most challenging global run stage of all,” said GMA Vice President and Head of International Operations Joseph T. Francia.


“We admire his passion and determination, and consider it an honor to play a significant role in his quest to become the first Filipino and Asian to finish a solo run across the globe” he added.


Guarin kicked off his ME run in Bahrain, where he conquered desert roads and oil pipelines for two days along with local female ultrarunner, Dunya Elias. Prior to his 110-km run, Guarin covered 22 kms within Bahrain’s capital and its largest city, Manama.


From Bahrain, Guarin endured major highways on desert roads and extreme temperature in Qatar to complete 209 kms in 5 days despite such challenging condition. Guarin and his GR Team Joon Malicse (project head and consultant) and Lester Fernandez (former handler and GRT volunteer) also attended the Emir Basketball Cup, where they met Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, the Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary General and member of the royal family, and even joined a fun run in Doha.


Guarin marked the third leg of his ME run in Kuwait, where he was met by over 1,000 spectators – his biggest crowd in ME. The global runner ran 110 kms, which he finished in just 5 days.


Guarin then continued his run in Saudi Arabia on May 1 as a fitting tribute to OFWs in the country. From an initial target run of 500 kms for 7 days, it was trimmed down to a 1-day, 43-km run due to unforeseen delays in the approval of their visa. Still and all, Guarin is the first Filipino runner to be given a permit from the Saudi government to do a solo run in the Eastern province of Saudi.


According to Guarin, his run in Oman was the most difficult of all legs. But even the mountainous region of Oman did not stop Guarin from finishing the race what with his decades’ worth of experience running across the globe. He completed this stage in 6 days covering 175 kms.


The Filipino ultamarathoner capped off his ME run in UAE, where he covered a total running distance of 285 kms. For his longest leg, Guarin ran along major highways from Abu Dhabi going to Dubai for 9 days.


In between runs, Guarin and his team made their rounds in each of the country’s Philippine Embassy, where they were met by local officials and fellow Pinoys wanting to lend their support.


Guarin noted on the generous support provided by the Philippine embassies, Ministry of Sports of each country and from our kababayan working in the Middle East.


With this new achievement in place, Guarin is even more determined to finish what he started and become an inspiration to more Filipinos across the globe.


“I’ve seen Cesar ran in 14 countries already in 3 years but it still amazes me to see him every time he run each day on the road,” shared Malicse. “His determination and stamina to run under the scorching heat of the sun in the Middle East from sunrise to sundown is unbelievable. And at the end of the day he can still manage to smile genuinely and still take time to wash his clothes and do other stuff. I hope a lot people get the chance to see him run the way we do. He truly is inspiring.”


Guarin is set to take on his next stage – his 2,500-km solo run in North America, covering Alaska, Vancouver, and other key cities in the West Coast – from October to December this year bringing him closer to the fulfilment of his ultimate dream.


GMA International channels – GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV and GMA News TV International – can be seen in the US, Canada, and in countries in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia Pacific.


For more details, visit the GMA International website, Facebook and, or Twitter pages @GMAPinoyTV and @GMA_LifeTV.

Fly High@5GMA Life TV, the first international Filipino lifestyle channel by GMA International, is commemorating five years of celebrating the best in Pinoy lifestyle this Maythrough a colorful and vibrant television campaign representing all the wonderful things that the channel is known for.


For five years already, GMA Life TV – one of GMA’s overseas channels alongside its flagship channel GMA Pinoy TV and international news channel GMA News TV International – has been a leading source of not only informative and entertaining, but also inspiring and meaningful Filipino lifestyle shows among Filipinos outside of the country.


To celebrate this important milestone, GMA Life TV has tapped six of the Network’s most sought after stars – Alden Richards, Mikael Daez, Rocco Nacino, Maxene Magalona, Bela Padilla and Louise Delos Reyes – to be the faces of the channel for its GMA Life TV: Fly High @ Five anniversary campaign. As the GMA Life TV VJs, they will take turns in introducing each program lending the channel their unique and colorful personalities.


“Highlighting the distinct and exceptional traits of the Pinoy lifestyle has ever been the primary goal of GMA Life TV,” said GMA Vice President and Head of International Operations Joseph T. Francia. “This year, we want to make things even more exciting as we present the GMA Life TV VJs, who equally embody the best traits of the channel – being fun, hip, original and inspirational.”


GMA Life TV prides itself in being the first and only Filipino lifestyle channel abroad to air English-dubbed Filipino drama series and the only Filipino channel offering classic black and white Pinoy films. In the coming months, viewers must especially await new movie titles (both mainstream and independent) as well as the premiere of GMA Life TV’s first documentary series “Home is Where the Heart Is,” which will take a peek into the homes of Filipinos living abroad.


The channel is set to even further diversify and enrich its content through the launch of new programs created by the country’s pioneer publisher of glossy magazines, One Mega Group. Such programs include a new fashion/reality program, a cooking show and also a home design show that fit right into the channel’s diverse mix of program genres focusing on home, fashion, food, travel, drama and reality.


GMA Life TV is available in the U.S, Canada, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Hong Kong, Guam, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Madagascar with an estimated one million viewers from all over the world. It will also be launched in additional pay-TV systems in North Africa and the Asia Pacific Region this year.


For more information on the channel, interested parties may visit

GMA News TV International brings the 10th Season of the widely followed inter-collegiate women’s volleyball tournament in the Philippines Shakey’s V League to viewers all over the world beginningApril 20.


This is the first time that the tournament will be aired on the third international channel of leading Filipino broadcast company GMA Network, while previous seasons of the tournament were telecast on the GMA’s flagship international channel, GMA Pinoy TV and its Filipino lifestyle channel abroad, GMA Life TV.


“We want to let our viewers know that more and more Filipinos are developing appreciation for this emerging sport,” said GMA Vice President and Head of International Operations Joseph T. Francia. “This is going to be an exciting season as Sports Vision Management announced that they are also organizing an All-star Weekend, where in past and present star players will engage in a friendly competition.”


The Network renewed its ties with Shakey’s V League in a contract signing on April 11 at GMA Network Center in Quezon City. Leading the contract signing were GMA Chairman & CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon, President & COO Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr., Sports Vision Management Group President Richard “Ricky” N. Palou, and Sports Vision Management Group Chairman Moying Martelino.


Also present were GMA Vice President and Head of International Operations Joseph T. Francia, GMA Vice President for Regional TV/Expansion & Production Services Rikki O. Escudero, GMA Sports and Special Projects Manager Marivic D. Araneta, GMA International Programming Head Cheri Domingo, Sports Vision Management Group Director Chito Loyzaga and Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) players, Alyssa Valdez, Fille Cainglet, and Rachel Anne Daquis.


Aside from ADMU, other participating teams in this landmark 10th Season are Adamson University, Arellano University, De La Salle-Dasmariñas, Letran College, National University, San Sebastian College, University of Perpetual Help, University of San Carlos Cebu and University of Santo Tomas.

GMA Contract Signing

GMA Contract Signing

Eat Bulaga in San Francisco, California

GMA Network, Inc. (GMA), through its international business unit, was once again recognized by the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) after winning six EMMAs (Excellence in Multi-Cultural Marketing Awards) for its highly innovative international marketing tactics.

This is by far the most number of awards won by GMA compared to previous years, and the Network’s first time to earn two first place recognitions in its long history of winning in the competition.

“We have been recognized by NAMIC almost every year since GMA Pinoy TV was launched in 2005,” said GMA International Vice President and Head of Operations Joseph T. Francia. “It is worth noting that the awards we received this year honor different tactics in our integrated marketing mix covering the gamut of our 360-degree approach to reaching our existing and potential subscribers, from our digital initiatives to more traditional schemes.”

Pacquiao Call-Out

The “Support Manny Pacquiao” online campaign for the boxing hero’s most recent fight against Juan Manuel Marquez was awarded first place in the Digital Category. The campaign was recognized for effectively engaging Filipinos living in the US, Asia-Pacific and Middle East to send in messages for Pacquiao via GMA’s citizen journalism tool, YouScoop. Highlighting Pinoy pride, these messages were later aired over GMA’s international channels.

Kapuso Abroad Magazine

The GMA International magazine dubbed as “Kapuso Abroad” (KA), meanwhile, won first place in the Grassroots category. KA is dedicated to making Filipinos living abroad feel closer to home by providing them with relevant and entertaining information about their favorite Kapuso programs and personalities. The magazine is circulated worldwide and the increasing demand for KA prompted GMA to create a digital version of the magazine in order to reach more Filipinos globally.

Winning third place in the Experiential Marketing category is the Eat Bulaga Live in San Francisco show held last March 30. Being the country’s longest running, most awarded and most influential noontime show, bringing Eat Bulaga to the US allowed Filipino-Americans to experience the classic brand of Pinoy entertainment that only a show like EB can offer. The event gathered over 6,000 attendees from Filipino-American communities in San Francisco and Northern California, and significantly increased the subscription base of GMA Pinoy TV.

GMA also won third place in the Diversity Awareness category for its participation in The Outstanding Filipino Americans (TOFA) awards. TOFA honors Filipino-Americans who have helped uplift the Filipino-American community through their outstanding achievements in their chosen profession. GMA leveraged on this opportunity to celebrate the excellence of the Filipino race by providing media mileage and trophies to all awardees. GMA was able to connect with more than 14,000 voters of TOFA via Facebook and reached out to around 300 attendees from various Filipino-American communities.

Meanwhile, GMA’s environment-friendly non-woven bags won third place in the Premium category. These fully functional, eco-friendly bags represent the Network’s active participation in Corporate Social Responsibility and environmental protection. The bags are always a sought-after premium during events and marketing activities stimulating brand recall. They also resonate well with subscriber cities like San Francisco that aggressively promote the use of reusable shopping bags.

Finally, the one-minute free advertising offering “Pinoy Inbox”, which ran from June 2010 to May 2011, finished third place in the Television category. This marketing tactic was built in the hopes of building affinity with GMA Pinoy TV subscribers. This proved to be successful as subscribers continue to pour in giving birth to its spin-off, “Pinoy Photobox.”

“This is a fitting reward for our hard work especially as we celebrate our 7th anniversary this year,” said Francia. “These awards are a validation of our efforts to innovate and be more creative in our marketing efforts, and to be even more relevant in today’s highly competitive, fast-evolving pay-television landscape. We are truly honoured to receive these recognitions from a prestigious organization such as NAMIC,” he added.

NAMIC is an international organization that recognizes superior multicultural marketing practices in the cable industry. Established in 1980 as non-profit trade organization, it has over 2,700 professionals belonging to a network of 16 chapters worldwide. The awarding of winners will take place on September 11 and 12 at Hilton New York.

GMA’s international unit oversees the distribution overseas of flagship channel GMA Pinoy TV, as well as GMA Life TV, GMA News TV International, DZBB and DWLS. To-date, the channels reach over 2 million viewers on various pay-TV platforms in 90 countries worldwide.

Smart Gilas Pilipinas 22nd Dubai Tournament

Fans and supporters of Smart Gilas Pilipinas can now watch how the Philippine national basketball team battled through the tough competition to reach the finals of the 22nd Dubai International Basketball Tournament as GMA Pinoy TV airs the competition worldwide beginning February 12.

Smart Gilas Pilipinas 22nd Dubai Tournament

Supported passionately by Dubai-based GMA Pinoy TV subscribers, Smart Gilas Pilipinas improved on its third place finish last year by finishing second behind tournament champion Al Etihad of Egypt. The basketball tournament, which was organized by the UAE Basketball Association, was held at the Al Ahli Club, Dubai from January 20 to 29.

The opening of the Dubai tournament saw a strong Pilipinas team defeating Lebanon’s Anibal Zahle by 27 points (70-57). But their next opponent, team Al Etihad of Egypt, got the better of the national team, winning over Smart Gilas, 85-72.

Smart Gilas was all fired up when it stepped out the court in its next game as it dominated Sharjah Club-United Arab Emirates, 92-67. But Smart Gilas faced a tough lost when it went up against the Syrian team, Al Wahda, who beat the team by only 2 points (91-89).

In order to make it to the semi-finals of the Dubai caging, Smart Gilas trounced Lebanon’s Hoops by 17 points, 86-69. And it was Smart Gilas against Al Wahda again. This time though, in the semi-final battle, the Pilipinas team overcame the Syrian club with an 11 point lead, 77-66.

Smart Gilas started strong in the finals against Al Etihad, posting an 11 point advantage in the first half. But in the last quarter, the Egyptian squad bombarded the Pilipinas team with a series of three-pointers. At the sound of the final buzzer, the final score was pinned at 84-75 and Al Etihad was named champion of the 22nd Dubai International Basketball Tournament.

Smart Gilas Pilipinas 22nd Dubai Tournament

The Smart Gilas team, led by Serbian Head Coach Rajko Toroman, has Chris Tiu and Mark Barroca at the forefront as team captains. They are joined by former Pinoy collegiate basketball superstars Dylan Ababou, Jason Ballesteros, Mac Baracael, JV Casio, and Aldrech Ramos, Fil-Am players Marcus Douthit, Marcio Lassiter, and Chris Lutz, and PBA player Asi Taulava.

GMA Pinoy TV has partnered with Smart Gilas Pilipinas in sharing their triumphs with Filipinos all over the world. These include their participation in seven international tournaments (in Dubai, U.S.A, Australia, Taipei, Beirut, and Manila) as part of the team’s preparations toward this year’s Fiba Asia Championship. The 2011 Fiba Asia Championship will serve as a qualifying tournament for the 2012 London Olympics.

Filipino viewers worldwide can catch the exciting games of Smart Gilas Pilipinas at the 22nd Dubai International Basketball Tournament on GMA Pinoy TV on these dates – Feb. 12 (Games 1-3), Feb. 19 (Games 4-5), and Feb. 26 (Games 6-7). Call your preferred pay TV operator now to subscribe.



Team Philippines with Coach Norman Black

Team Philippines consisting of players from Ateneo De Manila and Adamson University, has won two consecutive games, at the 18th 3-D Gold Super Kung Sheung Cup, which is being held at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai, Hong Kong.  Their coach is Coach Norman Black.



Team Philippines are consisted of the following players;

  1. Dela Cruz, A. (Jersey No. 4)
  2. Tiongson, J. (Jersey No. 5)
  3. Nuyles, A. (Jersey No. 6)
  4. Alvarez, L. (Jersey No. 7)
  5. Austria, R. (Jersey No. 8 )
  6. Colina, J. (Jersey No. 9)
  7. Erram, J. P. (Jersey No. 10)
  8. Long, J. K. (Jersey No. 12)
  9. Camson, E. J. (Jersey No. 13)
  10. Salva, N. R. (Jersey No. 14)
  11. Sumalinog, C. (Jersey No. 17)
  12. Golla, F.J. (Jersey No. 21)


Team Philippines versus Team Thailand

The first game was against Team Thailand.  Both teams has a roster of great players.  Only team work, experience, and luck determined who would be the better team.  It was a close game at first, but on the second half Team Philippines took the lead further and further.  This time around it was Team Philippines.  The final score for this game was 83 – 63.


Team Philippines versus Team G.C.C. of China

The second game was against Team G.C.C. of China.  Team G.C.C. had bigger players, but in basketball height is not the only advantage you have.  You must also posses speed, good offensive, and defensive skills, and you also need luck, which Team Philippines possessed.  At first Team G.C.C. was in the lead all the way to the third quarter.  Team Philippines had a hard time catching up, but got lucky in the fourth quarter, as the spread got thiner and thiner, until Team Philippines was in the lead.  In the final seconds of the game Team G.C.C. got furious, and started to man handle the Team Philippine players, even got to a point of a scuffle between No. 15 Li, and No. 6 Nuyles.  The referee had to step in to break the scuffle.  There was also the point where No. 12 Long, was hit on the nose.  But in the end, Team Philippines fought a good fight and won.  The final score was 78-73.

The third game will be tonight December 16, 2010, Thursday.  This time it will be against the Prudential Group of Hong Kong.  Will let you know the results as soon as the game is finish.

With two wins, Team Philippines is already in the standing to win this cup.

Go Team Philippines! Mabuhay kayong lahat! We in Hong Kong are proud of your achievements.  Win this cup for the glory of the Philippines.

Elmer Salvador will defend his RP Open crown at Valley Golf Club next week.
Elmer Salvador will defend his RP Open crown at Valley Golf Club next week.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Open golf championship, which has been given a spot in the Asian Tour calendar next year after a two-year hiatus, will still have to overcome a difficult hurdle before it can be staged successfully at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in May 2011.

A top golf official on Wednesday said the organizing National Golf Association of the Philippines has not sealed a sponsorship package to bankroll the required $300,000 prize as of yesterday.

“We are still looking for sponsors,” said NGAP executive vice president Pablo Soon, who is in charge of organizing the event.

He said that Wack Wack president Popoy Juico has been meeting with potential backers for the past weeks but no firm commitment has been finalized.

Pablo Soon said they are not worried about not meeting the financial requirement which was the reason the Philippine Open was scratched from the Asian Tour calendar for two successive years.

He said time was on their side and that by holding it at Wack Wack, he foresees many sponsors to come in because of the location of the event.

“Matagal pa naman,” Soon said. “What is important is that our venue is good and we are sure to attract fans and sponsors.”

Wack Wack, the traditional home of the Open, has recently been renovated and the 18 holes were completed just months ago.

With Asian Tour sanction, the Philippine Open is expected to attract the region’s best golfers again.

It has been scheduled as the seventh leg of the Tour on May 5-8.

Meanwhile, the all-peso prize Philippine Open is scheduled next week at Valley Golf Club.

At stake is a total pot of P2 million.

“We are holding it even without the dollar prize for the purpose of continuity,” said Soon. “Also, this is our way of making our local golfers enjoy the Christmas season.”

Record signing

December 8, 2010 — Leave a comment

Former Manchester United star Nicky Butt has committed to help South China in their quest for Asian glory after signing what is believed to be a record deal for a Hong Kong league player.

Butt, who left for Britain after a successful trial with the Caroliners last week, will return to the SAR next month to reinforce the side in their ongoing domestic campaign as well as the Asian Football Confederation Cup beginning in March.

South China chairman Steven Lo Kit-sing did not disclose details of the contract but said Butt will be paid just like an English Premier League player, which means the 35-year-old former England player could be earning around 25,000 (HK$306,292) per week in a deal that runs until May next year.

While in England, Butt is expected to head to the Manchester United training facility to keep himself fit and ready for his Hong Kong campaign.Apart from Butt, the Caroliners are also looking to sign up a Britain-based striker, Lo said.

He will not bring his family to the SAR as earlier planned, but his wife and three-year-old son will visit him every month, Lo said.

South China are looking to improve on their showing in the last AFC Cup, when they reached the round of 16, only to lose to Al Riffa of Bahrain.

The Caroliners have been drawn in Group H in the coming tournament with Chonburi of Thailand, Kingfisher East Bengal of India and Persipura Jayapura of Indonesia.

Lo said he hopes to persuade Butt to extend his contract if they reach the quarter-finals.

Butt scored a goal and set up the winner in South China’s 2-1 victory over TSW Pegasus in a First Division match at Hong Kong Stadium last week.