MANILA, Philippines – Navy Selecta, Airforce Rider, Army Phiten and Kaya Digiprint edged their respective foes over the weekend to complete the semifinals cast of the United Football League-LBC Cup.
At the Ateneo de Manila University football field in Quezon City, Army Phiten banked on its relentless scoring as it silenced Alabang Grins, 4-0, to clinch the first semifinals slot.
Both teams fought on equal terms in the first half until Army's Relan Bretana nailed a goal five minutes into the second canto. It was all Army Phiten from there, with Ricardo Becite and Roel Gener scoring three more goals to arrive at the final score.
Despite the setback, Grins coach and manager Hans Smit was unbowed.
“We’re the youngest team in the first division,” Smit said. “That’s already something to be proud of.”
In the second game, Navy Selecta came out on top of Loyola ATR Kim Eng, 2-1, in a match marred by several yellow cards and an expulsion.
Navy's Marlon Pinero scored the game's first goal, sinking a penalty kick 10 minutes into the first half. But Loyola striker John Paul Merida responded shortly with a goal of his own to force the deadlock at halftime.
Action resumed with four Navy players receiving yellow cards for unsportsmanlike behavior, while a player from Loyola was warned for verbal taunting. Things got worse at the 82-minute mark when Navy’s Reydrick Viliran threw a punch at Loyola’s Patrick Martir. Viliran was thrown out of the match.
Shorty after the scuffle, Navy scored another goal to seal the win.
At the Nomads football grounds in Paranaque City, Kaya Digiprint became the only civilian squad to barge into the semifinals after knocking out Union Rudy Project, 2-1.
In the last quarterfinal match, Air Force Rider ousted Mendiola E-games, 2-1.
The semifinals will be held this Sunday, with Navy Selecta colliding with Airforce Rider in the 2:30 p.m. game at Ateneo.
Kaya, managed by United Football Club Association president Christopher Hagedorn, faces Army Phiten in the other semis match at Nomads.
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