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(C) Mia Montayre/UAAP Season 86 Media Team


Francis Tacardon, Macky Tobias get ‘beautiful’ ending with UP’s championship

University of the Philippines secured a storybook ending to its UAAP Season 86 Men’s Football Tournament campaign by defeating Far Eastern University 1-0 in the final last Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.

Graduating Maroons Francis Tacardon and Macky Tobias were the protagonists for the Fighting Maroons against the Tamaraws.

Tacardon earned UP a penalty, which Tobias dispatched in the 50th minute to score the game’s only goal and seal their school’s 19th title in the men’s division of the UAAP.

“Napakaganda,” expressed captain Tobias, who represented FEU-Diliman in high school and was the Season 81 MVP awardee during the Baby Tamaraws’ ninth consecutive championship. “Nagawa talaga namin yung plano namin against FEU. Kinuha ko talaga.

“Sabi ko akin na to. Inisip ko lang talaga noon na pili lang ako ng isang side tapos lakasan ko lang sipa. Yun lang.”

“It was a very intense match,” said Tacardon, who finished Season 86 with seven goals and bagged the MVP and Best Striker awards. “In the first half, it was a back-and-forth game.

“It was very unpredictable. Hindi mo alam kung sino yung lumalamang. But come the second half, after the team talk, after we boys talked to each other, pushed each other – lumabas yung UP fighting spirit.

“Credit to FEU. They really gave us a tough time. Kahit natatalo na sila, most of the second half hindi sila tumigil lumaban so very impressive from FEU,” Tacardon added.

What makes UP’s championship so special is that it came from a position where it needed a revamp. The Fighting Maroons failed to make the Final Four back in Season 85 and a change was made in the off-season.

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Popoy Clarino replaced Anto Gonzales, who led UP to its Season 78 and 80 championships.

For Tacardon, experiencing these highs and lows made this Season 86 crown sweeter. The 22-year-old left-winger arrived in UP as a top prospect back in Season 82 and now leaves Diliman as a champion with two individual awards.

And he gave credit to his teammates and coaches who pushed him every day during training.

UAAP-86-MFB-Francis-Tacardon-UP-celebrate-2 Francis Tacardon, Macky Tobias get 'beautiful' ending with UP's championship Football News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

(C) Mia Montayre/UAAP Season 86 Media Team

“Coming into UP, during my first year, I was very excited to play alongside sila (Kintaro) Miyagi na mga nag-champion sa UAAP under their guidance. Masarap sa feeling,” said Tacardon.

“And then come the pandemic, medyo nakakawalang gana mag-football. But then, my teammates and I, tuloy pa rin kami sa online training so ginaganahan pa rin ako,” he added.

“I kept pushing, pushing, pushing until last season, another down. We didn’t make it into the Final Four. But we kept fighting. We never stopped working. So ayun, ups and downs talaga.”

Aside from Tobias and Tacardon, Emilio Bongolan, Joseph Huelva, Angelo Pagdanganan, Vincent Parpan, Frederick Tiambeng, and Orlan Togores have also concluded their UAAP careers as champions for UP.

It is always special to end one’s collegiate career on a high note, and these eight Fighting Maroons experienced the ultimate ending.

This batch of Fighting Maroons will always look back and say that they led their beloved alma mater in ending a six-year drought for the UAAP title.

UAAP-86-MFB-UP-celebrate-2 Francis Tacardon, Macky Tobias get 'beautiful' ending with UP's championship Football News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

(C) Mia Montayre/UAAP Season 86 Media Team

“It’s really special because at the collegiate level, it’s like it’s almost at the professional level. This is my last year. I’m graduating so it’s really important,” said Tobias.

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“To the UP community, we wholeheartedly thank you. The achievement we made, it wouldn’t have been possible without you. You pushed us, encouraged us, motivated us. We heard you till the end. Thank you very much,” said Tacardon.

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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