STALLION-Sta. Lucia leaned on another strong showing from its usual contributors as it walloped Philippine Army, 6-1, on Tuesday night to solidify its hold of the top spot in the United Football League at the Emperador Stadium.
Rufo Sanchez fired four goals, Nathan Alquiros scored for the fourth straight game, and Balot Doctora also chipped in a goal in his return from injury as the Stallions raised their total to 33 points, five points ahead of Global.
Sanchez’s first-half brace was sandwiched by a goal from Alquiros, who has had a seamless transition for the reigning UFL Cup champions since coming in late in the first half of the season after his UAAP 75 duty for La Salle ended.
“Last year kasama na ako sa team rin so pag dating ng season na ‘to, medyo nakuha ko na `yung pag-adjust, kung paano gumalaw,” said the 20-year-old left winger, who is still eligible to play for the Archers for two more years.
Back from a three-game absence, Doctora, who recovered from a left arm injury that needed 10 stitches to heal, assisted on Sanchez’s hat-trick goal in the 61st minute, before Sanchez returned the favor in the 77th when he assisted on Doctor’s strike.
“First time ko bumalik sa laro. Nanibago ako. Pero after all, `yung hard work ng team, `yung buildup nandoon,” the Ilonggo captain said. “Kaya naghihirap kami para makuha namin `yung championship na to. Worth it naman lahat ng pagod namin.”
Sanchez completed his four-goal effort with a successful free kick conversion five minutes before stoppage time.
The Troopers, recently relegated to last place, continued their woes as they have lost their fifth straight game to remain at the cellar with four points to show.