By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The Azkals were handed a tricky draw on Wednesday when they were put in Group A alongside regional heavyweights Thailand and Vietnam, as well as the winners of the qualifying round that has yet to be contested.
Nonetheless, after their stunning run in the previous edition in 2010, where they made it all the way to the semi-finals before falling to Indonesia, Palami believes his side are no longer underdogs in the tournament.
"We're not coming in as a surprise team anymore," he said on the competition's official website. "We're coming in as one of the favourites.
"If we want to win, we have to beat the strongest teams. That is the only way to go about it."
According to reports in the Philippine Star, the Azkals will undergo extensive training in the build-up to the competition, including a training camp in the United States at the start of August, where they will play a friendly against Major League Soccer side Chicago Inferno.
Following that, they will take on India, Kenya, Jordan and Syria in the Nehru Cup, before playing a series of friendlies in September.