Rookie Dexter Chio made up for the absence of Far Eastern University’s (FEU) top striker as the Tamaraws took home the 72nd UAAP men’s football crown, defeating University of Santo Tomas (UST), 1-0, Sunday at the Ateneo field.
Chio, a rookie from Cotabato, scored home the championship-winning goal in the 75th minute, volleying a deflection into the back of the net just outside the penalty box.
FEU played without its top scorer, former national team mainstay Jason Cordova, who served his suspension after getting two yellow cards and an automatic ejection in the first game of the championship.
The Tamaraws also overcame the Tigers’ twice-to-beat advantage entering the finals series.
“This is a great championship for us. Even though we have three players missing, we got the title," said FEU coach Rodolfo Alicante, referring to veterans Jason Almenar and Romnick Jover who were likewise canned after being issued with two yellow cards in the first game.
Cordova scored in the Tamaraws’ 1-0 win over the Tigers Thursday to send the series into a rubber match.
Alicante said the early preparation did wonders for the Tamaraws, who last won the title in 2008, breaking a 28-year-spell.
Jake Hugo led the list of Tamaraws who won individual awards bagging the Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors. Cordova won the Best Scorer plum while Francis Gustilo bagged the Best Midfielder trophy. Ronnie Aguisanda won the Best Goalkeeper accolade also for the Tamaraws.
David Basa of UST was adjudged as the season’s Best Defender.
It was truly a redemption for the Tamaraws, who lost last season’s crown to University of the Philippines (UP) despite enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage in the finals. -
GMA News TV