Far Eastern University-Diliman completed its second straight rout of the UAAP Season 82 High School Boys’ Football Tournament, dominating De La Salle-Zobel, 4-1, even as University of Santo Tomas rescued their title aspirations with a win over Ateneo High School, 2-1, Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Baby Tamaraws, who have clinched their 11th consecutive appearance last Wednesday, now carry 17 points. La Salle remains with seven points.
Jacob Garciano drilled in the insurance goal just before the halftime break to put the Baby Tamaraws out of reach at 3-0. Pocholo Bugas opened the scoring for the defending champs at the 12th minute, before a mistimed clearance from Miguel De Mesa resulted to an own goal 15 minutes later.
Despite the huge lead, FEU still brandished its offense and eventually opened the rout with a fourth goal five minutes into the second period with a screamer from Karl Absalon.
Head coach Park Bobae was pleased to see his squad getting at ease with their offensive adjustments.
“Actually after we drew with UST, we addressed our problem with scoring,” he shared. “So we practiced our scoring detail. We also studied how to play La Salle. So we know how we would also know how to prepare to play against them.”
The match got testy after a commotion saw Jerome Ang getting sent off, bringing the Baby Tams down to 10 men. La Salle’s Yuki Ferrer was cautioned after the incident.
The ruckus fueled the Junior Green Archers as they eventually notched a goal courtesy of Rafael Aldeguer in the 80th minute.
The goal, however, was too late as the final whistle signaled the end of La Salle’s Finals hopes.
Park shared that despite their place in the Finals already booked, the Tamaraws might still go full force in their final elimination match as preparation for the championship match.
“Josh Abundio is still injured, but his recovery is very fast. So, there’s a chance, he’ll play. We’ll see,” the Korean mentor ended.
UST, on the other hand, scored twice in the second period to repulse Ateneo for a chance at making it to the Final match.
The Junior Golden Booters zoom to third place eight points, while the Blue Eaglets finished the season with seven points.
Denzel Celebrado registered a brace with a late winner at the 90th minute to follow up on his 74th-minute strike to level the match. His two goals made amends of a defensive lapse off Diego Luna in the 37th minute to put Ateneo ahead at 1-0.
UST will try to push for at least a playoff for the second Finals berth with a win against La Salle on Thursday, February 13 at 1:30 p.m. FEU and Nazareth School of National University will take on each other in a potential preview of the Finals later at 4 p.m.
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