Newcomer King Miyagi delivered a hat trick as University of the Philippines overwhelmed Ateneo, 4-1, Thursday night capped a dramatic season by clinching a 17th UAAP men’s football crown before a huge crowd at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The star of UP’s impressive rookie batch opened the scoring in the 28th minute, before striking twice in the second half to put Ateneo to the sword as the Fighting Maroons reclaimed the crown they last won in 2012.
Daniel Gadia was also on target for UP with a quality strike in the first half, before Ateneo pulled a goal back through Mikko Mabanag.
But a stellar second half performance finally got the job done for the Maroons, who drew inspiration from the death of teammate Rogie Maglinas all season long. Maglinas passed away due to cancer last February.
“This win is for Rogie,” said UP coach Anto Gonzales. “He inspired us to do special things this season.”
UP mixed flair and creativity up front with Gadia’s steel and composure at midfield and its well-drilled defence to pull off one of the most dominant victories in the UAAP finals.
The men’s victory capped a sensational day for the Diliman-based school as the UP women’s side also coached by Gonzales claimed its first crown at the expense of fancied La Salle, 2-1, in the finals.
Winger Angeliza Sta. Clara knocked in the title-clinching goal in the 67th minute, heading home off a corner kick after Cristina Delos Reyes put UP ahead from the penalty spot. La Salle’s Regine Metillo equalized from the spot in the 60th minute.
The Lady Maroons soaked up the pressure in the first half, before turning their attack up a notch in the last 45 minutes.
On her final game for the Lady Maroons, defender Molly Manalansan went home with the season MVP honors.
With the win, La Salle remained stuck at eight titles, wasting an almost perfect season when it faltered in the finals.
Miyagi scored the opening goal with a tap-in after Gadia’s effort was saved by Ateneo’s goalkeeper Kenneth James. Gadia doubled the advantage six minutes later with a brilliant individual strike, before a mistake from Ace Villanueva allowed Mabanag’s free kick to roll past the line as Ateneo trimmed the deficit, 1-2, at the half.