There can be no doubt that Jarvey Gayoso is one of the greatest-ever forwards to have played in the history of the UAAP Men’s Football Tournament.
Ever since he competed for the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles in Season 78, the fourth-year student-athlete has scored 50 goals in 63 appearances for the Katipunan-based school. For this, he has received the Best Striker gong for four successive seasons.
More importantly, Gayoso was named Most Valuable Player twice in his collegiate career. Both awards coincided with his two championship years with Ateneo, Seasons 79 and 81.
“It’s just humbling, of course, and it feels good, but that was all because of the team. The team did everything.
“I was just there to do my part. All the awards, they’re for the team and for every single person who put their heart out today,” said the 22-year-old after the Blue Eagles defeated archrivals De La Salle University Green Archers to win the Season 81 crown.
Ateneo were on the ropes in the championship game, as La Salle’s Mohammad Almohjili gave the Green Archers the lead in the 77th minute. Just when it looked like the Green Archers were set to end their two-decade drought, Gayoso latched onto substitute Luka Alleje’s pass to equalize in stoppage time.
“We didn’t know what time it was. There was no screen so we just wanted to give our all. We knew that we were down 0-1, so we wanted to be consistent in attacking; give everything with the time that we had. We knew it was in the second half so if we didn’t score, it would have been everything,” said the former Blue Eaglet.
“We just continued to do our thing. We continued to remain composed and we continued to fight.”
His goal then set Ateneo on their way towards an eighth championship in the division, as Julian Roxas scored the winner in stoppage time. When the final whistle sounded and with the championship secured, the forward celebrated wildly with his comrades as they brought home another title to Katipunan.
However, he made it a point to approach a familiar face on the opposite bench, his uncle Alvin Ocampo, who steered the Green Archers to what was an unlikely appearance in the finals.
“All my respect to Tito Alvin. He’s done a hell of a job with the La Salle team.
“The development of La Salle is really good. I look up to tito Alvin. Of course, he deserves my respect and I deserve his respect, so that’s why I went up to him after,” said the national team youth player.
Now that the dust has settled, the big question on everyone’s minds is whether or not Gayoso will return for one last dance for the Blue & White. Ateneo head coach Jay Pee Merida has gone on record saying that the ball is in his player’s court and that they will respect his decision.
Nevertheless, the two-time champion just wants to savor the moment and focus on his education.
“I won’t focus on that first.
“We just won so that’s my focus for now. It’s hard to focus already. I still have my finals, I still have school to focus on so at the moment it’s not on my mind. I’m just happy to be a champion again. We just want to focus on rewarding ourselves for what we’ve done today and this season,” he disclosed.
When everything is said and done, there is no doubt that Gayoso has nothing left to prove in the college level.
Whether or not he stays for one more year, the league may never witness a player of his talent ever again.