By Jerome Galunan Jr.
Bacolod United Football Club (BUFC) and Jakalz Football Club prevailed over their respective opponents to capture the Division 1 and 2 championship honors of the just-concluded 2nd Gov. Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr., Provincial Men’s Open Football League played last Saturday at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
BUFC demolished Sagay City FC, 9-2, while Jakalz escaped University of Negros Occidental-Recoleto Balangaw, 1-nil.
As expected, BUFC came out sizzling from the kick-off with Rodines Palomo scoring the opening goal in the 20th minute as Carlo Lucero doubled in the 30th minute, followed by Carmelo Tacusalme and Jalsor Soriano scoring in the 33rd and 43rd minutes to book a 4-nil lead at the break.
In the second half, Ruben Manquiñano gave Sagay City its lone goal in the 65th minute for the possible spark for the northern squad but Gino Palomo quickly sent some ice in the 69th minute as Nicholas Kalalang nailed BUFC’s seventh goal.
Not done yet, Ronald and Gregg Gustilo connected two more goals in the 83rd and 86th minutes, respectively, for the squad’s eight and final goals.
Manquiñano got a consolation goal for Sagay two minutes before the final whistle in the 88th minute.
Last year, BUFC entered the finals but, failed to make a good performance against the eventual champion Ceres FC after their top players had the conflict schedule with the United Football League in Manila. Most of their players were then playing for the UFL 2nd Division champion Pachanga FC.
Meanwhile, Mark Sison led Athletico de Bago with his goal in the 34th minute to secure the second runner-up honor over Cadiz FC in Division 1.
In Division 2, after a scoreless first half, Benson Lazo sent a 71st minute strike to anchor the Jakalz FC escaped the UNO-R Balangaw to capture the division title, while Silver Dragons FC Kerby Retolosa converted three goals to notch a 4-1 score over BPI FC for the second runner-up finish in the 2nd Division.
Retolosa had his shot in the first minute followed by his teammate Ruben Garsula’s goal in the 30th minute before nailing his second and third goals in the 31st and 43rd minutes.
Mark Aurel Arandilla tried to spark his team in the 34th minute but failed as BPI eventually yielded down.
On the other hand, Ronie Tornilla was named as “Most Valuable Player” for Divsion 1 while Michael Pacite bagged the honors in the 2nd Division.
Other individual awardees, include: BUFC’s Ian Combate and Jakalz FC Lorge Bustillo as “Best Goalkeepers” for Divisions 1 and 2, respectively; BUFC’s Camelo Tacusalme and UNO-R Balangaw’s Rodgie Lumawag as “Best Defenders” in for Divisions 1 and 2; named “Best Midfielders” are Sagay City FC’s Jose Marie Gubatayao and Winston Valencia of Jakalz FC; and “Best Strikers” are Sagay City FC’s Abner Uberas and Mark Aurel Arandilla of BPI FC./