Powered by four goals and two assists from Eric Giganto , the Far Eastern University Tamaraws welcomed 2015 with a 9-1 dismantling of the still-winless Adamson University, Sunday afternoon at the FEU Diliman football field.
The Tams came close to drawing first blood at the sixth minute, after Nicolas Ferrer Jr. managed to connect with a cross from Jhan Jhan Melliza from the right wing with a header from point-blank range, but the ball was slapped away by Adamson keeper Carl Jupiter Viray. The Falcons’ first opportunity to score came two minutes later, when Nickie Yap broke through the FEU back to strike from beyond the penalty area, but the ball ended up wide.
FEU’s first goal finally came at the twelfth minute, when a long distance strike from Angelou Jurao wound up getting knocked off course by Adamson’s Viray. The ball ended up bouncing off the top bar and back into play, before it was eventually corralled by Ferrer Jr. lurking just in front the goal. Ferrer easily nudged the ball past Viray who was caught unaware, giving FEU goal number one.
Goal number two came ten minutes later, when a cross from the right wing by Giganto was headed in by Season 75 and Season 76 Best Striker Melliza from just in front of the keeper. Another moment of glory came for Giganto at the 28th minute, when the man wearing the captain’s armband was able to spot an opening in the Adamson back and snuck in to easily nod the ball past a surprised Viray, putting the Tams up 3-0 in barely half an hour of play.
Amidst another flurry of FEU attacks entering the final 15 minutes of the first half, the Adamson cause was kicked back to life at the 36th minute, care of Goldwynn Espina, who after escaping the Tams’ wide defenders was able to receive a low cross from the opposite flank mailed by teammate Romeo Dimaano Jr. and got close enough to strike from the left flank and bag the Falcons’ first goal. The Tamaraws however sent their response four minutes later at the 40th minute, when Michael Menzi managed to beat the offside trap to find Arnel Amita lurking in front of the goal, who after receiving the inside pass easily nodded the ball past the Adamson keeper to put FEU up 4-1. Jurao came close to bagging the Tamaraws’ fifth goal just as the 45th minute arrived, but the shot from just inside the penalty box was stopped by Viray just inches before the ball could cross the goal line. At the end of the first half, the Tamaraws were up 4-1.
The second half however only saw a repeat of the first half. Giganto nailed his second goal of the game at the 49th minute, after he found himself unmarked and unchecked in the center of the penalty box, giving him space to nod the ball past the Adamson keeper and add to the Tams’ tally anew. He completed the hat-trick at the 55th minute, freeing himself up to receive the low cross from Jurao from the wing to nudge the ball past the keeper and into the net, giving the Tams their sixth goal of the game.
It was national team selection Paolo Bugas’ time to shine at the 63rd minute, by bagging the Tams’ seventh goal after a strike from the top right corner wound up flying past the Adamson keeper and into the net. The 79th minute saw Giganto become the first person in the season to finish with four goals in a game, after he found himself with enough space to strike one in from point-blank range and bag the Tamaraws’ eight goal. The icing on Giganto’s cake came at the 88th minute when he managed to find teammate Melliza in position for the easy shot. Melliza completed the brace after sending the ball sailing past the keeper, giving FEU the staggering 9-1 edge.