MANILA, Philippines – Far Eastern University (FEU) completed a football double in UAAP Season 76 on Sunday, winning the men’s crown, 1-0, at the expense of University of the Philippines (UP), as well as the women’s title against University of Santo Tomas (UST), 2-1, at the FEU-Diliman pitch in Quezon City.
It was FEU’s ninth championship in both divisions, which it attained by sweeping the race-to-two duels. The Morayta-based institution could have made it a triple celebration had its juniors’ squad defeated Ateneo on Saturday.
FEU's last men’s title came in Season 72, while it repeated as champs in the women’s side
The Tamaraws struggled early on but were rewarded with what turned out to be the only goal they needed when Jess Mellizza, the league’s top scorer, drilled in a spectacular header above Fighting Maroons goalkeeper Ace Villanueva in the 72nd minute.
"He [Melliza] had good ability today," said FEU's Korean coach Kim Chul Su. “And the team gave its 1,000 percent effort.”
In the women’s battle, Sharmine Sioatong opened scoring in the 19th minute with Alesa Dolino making it 2-0 for FEU in the 57th minute. Marice Magdolot struck in the 87th minute but time ran out on the Tigresses.
"Sobrang saya. Nawala na ang lahat ng pagod at lahat ng sacrifices, napunan na," said coach Let Dimzon as she steered the Lady Tamaraws to the No. 1 spot in terms of titles won in the UAAP.
Paolo Bugas, FEU's lethal weapon in finishing first in the eliminations, was named the men’s Most Vauable Player, while teammate Arnel Amita was declared Best Midfielder. Villanueva was named Best Goalkeeper and fellow Green Booter Patchy Santos the Rookie of the Year.
Graduating Lady Tamaraw Mae Sollano was named the women's MVP and her teammate Barbie Sobredo the Best Scorer and Best Midfielder.
UST keeper Rara Luna took the women’s Best Goalkeeper plum and teammate Jena Abuan clinched the Best Defender honors.