The best teams always find a way through.
Justin Baas scored the winning penalty as Kaya-Iloilo won the 2023 Copa Paulino Alcantara by outlasting Davao Aguilas-UMAK 4-3 on penalties after the game finished 1-1 at extra time Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Baas, Kaya’s 6-foot-1 defender, slotted home the winning spot-kick after being told to retake it after a violation by Davao goalie Din Ouattara.
“Everything happened so quick,” said Baas. “I missed the penalty. I was disappointed in myself that I missed the penalty and then I heard I could retake it. It was a good opportunity and I knew that I knew I had to kill it and that’s what I did.”
Kaya goalkeeper Quincy Kammeraad also played a key role as he denied Yannick Tuason and Serge Kaole in the shootout.
It was a huge relief for Kaya to seize the cup amidst its wastefulness in front of goal. The likes of Abou Sy, Horikoshi, Bedic, and Simone Rota all had chances in regulation and extra time to win the match.
Bedic, who came on as a sub, had an attempt late in the second half of extra time but his header was denied by the post.
Davao drew first blood in first-half stoppage time as Tuason caught the Kaya defense sleeping to draw first blood with a header.
However, Arnel Amita scored a second-half equalizer after stealing the ball off Ouattara to set Kaya on its way to victory.
“Credit to the players, they kept going for 120 minutes,” said coach Colum Curtis. “We have our hands on the trophy. I don’t care how we get it as long as we’ve got it.”
Kaya also dominated the individual awards. Sy won the tournament’s Golden Boot with 10 goals while Kammeraad earned the Golden Glove. Simone Rota was named the Best Defender while Horikoshi was the MVP.
Davao’s Paolo Bugas earned the Best Midfielder award.
It was a double celebration day for Kaya as its youth team defeated Palawan FA 7-0 to win the PFF Under-19 Second Division National Championship earlier in the day at the same venue.
Two-time UAAP champion Jarvey Gayoso did not play in the final due to suspension.
Kaya XI: Kammeraad (GK), Saito, Amita, Melliza, Baas, Sendra, Horikoshi, Arboleda, Rota, Menzi, Sy.
Davao XI: Ouattara, Villareal, Sapal, Tuason, Angeles, Talaroc, Ferrer, Kaole, Yohann, Bugas, Limbo.