Host Negros Occidental Football Association did not score a single goal against Cebu FA in their final match, but their lopsided victories against Negros Oriental FA (6-1) and Leyte FA (9-0), earlier, allowed them to take the No. 1 ranking in the regional qualifier and advance into the national finals of the PFF-Smart National U22 Amateur Championship next year.
The wins against NORFA and Leyte and the draw against Cebu gave NOFA a total of 7 points to finish the regional qualifier on top against the three other teams from the Visayas area.
Advancing into the national finals, slated January 16-21 next year at the Panaad, NOFA head coach John Carmona said their task is to ensure that the team is ready.
“I am happy with the outcome of the tournament but we need to address certain issues and make the necessary adjustments,” Carmona told reporters after the match against Cebu.
He said the unforced errors against Cebu FA can be attributed to the players' eagerness to score early in the match.
“We were too excited to score early in the game as Cebu played defensively and did some counters. Our players l need to learn to be patient and accurate,” Carmona said.
NOFA ‘s triumph in the regional qualifier was witnessed by the association president Ricky Yanson, who earlier encouraged the Negrenses to continue supporting the host team.
Yanson is the forefront of initiating programs that will develop more football talents in the province.
The members of the winning team are: Nessi Ramos, Joshua Dutosme, Aoki Harunori, Usman Ilimona, Charles Barberan, John Mark Jamelo, Regie Cisneros, Kent Guevarra and Jo Warren Bedia from University of St. La Salle;
Paolo Sanchez, Marivic Gancita and Randey Temana from UNO-Recoletors; and Gerald Paparone, Jasper Layagon, Jordan Junco, Diomar Carusaay, Joevanie Santos, Francis Jada Polvodrido, Angelo Frayle Ledesma, Kyle Bayabos, Von Loyd Baguioro and Ashley Pamiliar from Central Philippine State University-San Carlos.
Assisting Carmona in the coaching department are Dennis Penalosa, Jorwell Gines, Gus Rivas, and Carlo Andrew Demegillo.*NAB