CEBU City of Region 7 will have the chance to ink its first championship after they advance to the finals of the football event in the Private Schools Athletic
Association football event at the Aboitiz Sports Field.
Region 7, manned by the University of San Carlos, beat Davao of Region 11, 1-0, and will meet South Cotabato in the 9 a.m. finals today.
South Cotabato beat Region 5, 2-0, in the semis yesterday.
However, Region 7’s win was mired in controversy after Davao contended that Rene Sanchez’s 45th minute goal should have been disallowed as the ball was not on play.
“Hindi naman nila sinipa yung bola galling labas, pina-roll lang,” said Davao head coach Jason Mortillero.
However referee-in-charge Steve Suprecencia called it “ball on play.”
“Nakita ko kinuha yung bola, pinusisyon tsaka sinipa. Hindi nga lang nakaposition yung Davao nun,” said Suprecencia.
Striker Jojo Rodriguez had several chances to increase the lead but Davao keeper Rueper Ignacio had some brilliant saves, including inside the penalty area.
Meanwhile, freshmen booters Ethan Decena, John Caballero and Leonard Tan is in for a rare feat as they are on course to snatch their second straight national title this year.
The three are former players from Don Bosco Technology College and have won the elementary and high school Palarong Pambansa titles.
“It gives us confidence to win another title for the second straight year. We are also pressured because our parents expect us to win the championship,” said Tan.
Before the finals, Region 5 and Region 11 will face off for the bronze medal.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 27, 2012.