In a game that was essentially a dead rubber, the disappointment of the Adamson University Soaring Falcons and the relief of the University of the East Red Warriors highlighted the opposite direction both schools took in the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football Tournament.
In their final assignment in the competition, the Soaring Falcons were denied back-to-back wins after the Red Warriors salvaged a 1-1 stalemate, Thursday afternoon, at the FEU-Diliman field in Quezon City.
“Talagang malaking impact sa amin. Talagang masakit yan kasi approaching this game, ang objective namin is to get that win and to finish this season strong. Unfortunately, talagang bumigay pa kami in the last seconds na lang,” rued Adamson coach Arvin Soliman.
The outcome elevates Adamson’s standing in the league table to 6th place with 12 points. While they can still go down to 7th place if UE – who have 9 points – earn a win and a draw in their last two games, this year has been one to savor for the Soaring Falcons, as they finally showed that they can compete in the UAAP.
“But overall, we are happy dun sa naging performance this season,” added the College of St. Benilde alumnus. “Yung progress talaga ng team na ito malaki if you’re going to compare doon sa nakaraang season.”
Adamson’s goal arrived 15 minutes into the first half thanks to a strike by Allen Lozano. Bless Brian II Jumo earned his side a free kick beforehand right at the edge of the Red Warriors’ penalty box. Lozano then stepped up to score past goalie Frank Rieza.
Just when it looked like the Soaring Falcons would get all three points and a dream finale for their seniors, Red Warriors full-back Champ Marin directed the ball home in stoppage time to earn his side a point for all of their endeavors.
“Sobrang swerte na lang kami kasi yung rookie ko (Marin) from defense, dahil hindi nagtatrabaho yung senior ko sa taas, tinaas ko para at least may gumalaw lang. Luckily, at the end of the game, binigyan kami ng isang goal,” explained UE coach Fitch Arboleda
Nevertheless, Marin’s goal merely highlighted the dip in form of UE this season. From knocking on the door of a post-season appearance last year, the Recto-based school is relegated to the bottom half of the standings this year.
“Yung pinakapangit na nakikita ko sa amin ay yung mga senior players ko na hindi nag-step up. So yung mga graduating players, yung mga seniors, sila pa yung dahilan kung bakit kami natatalo palagi,” lamented Arboleda.
Adamson (12 points) have no more games left. Meanwhile, UE (9 points) hope to build on this draw when they take on the Ateneo de Manila University on May 2, 2019, 9:00 AM, at the same venue.
AdU XI: Bardaje, Beltran, Dela Cruz, Jumo I, Jumo II, Lozano, Magpusao, Poncardas, Rabino, Ramos, Viray (C, GK).
UE XI: Absalon, Arboleda C, Arboleda F, Bagsic, Carandang, Diano, Lerion, Marin, Opena, Polinag, Rieza (C), Vergara.