The UST Growling Tigers defeated the Adamson Soaring Falcons, 2-1, courtesy of goals from rookie AJ Pasion, and Darwin Busmion. It was the first game for the Growling Tigers in the UAAP Season 78 Men’s Football Tournament and a winning start was imperative for them after their sixth place finish in Season 77.
Relief and joy were evident on the faces of the Growling Tigers when the final whistle was sounded off. Busmion shared, “Sobrang saya kasi sabi ni coach (Marjo Allado) na pag manalo kami first game, tutuloy na ito. Tataas ang kumpyansa, pati rookie ngayon nagcontribute kaya sobrang sarap ng feelings po.”
Pasion agreed with his teammate Busmion and added the win will do much to add to the Growling Tigers’ confidence. “Masaya kasi para yung spirit ng team ko tumaas para mataas ang kumypyansa nila sa sarili para hindi sila kabahan maglaro.”
UST struggled to score against Adamson in the first half. It took a wonder goal from Pasion to give the Growling Tigers the breakthrough. Not that he meant it. “Siguro parang jackpot lang kasi papasa ko sana sa teammate ko pero yung hangin kasi …… bola eh, tsaka yun nagcurve ang bola kaya yun goal.”
It was a good shift for Pasion in the game and he felt that the tune up games of the Growling Tigers helped him settle his nerves. “Siguro nung una kinakabahan ako kasi first time ko. Ngayon parang experience ko tinatry ko, kasi nagtutune up kami sa mga club na Stallion, Global tsaka yung experience ko maging mataas para yung makalaban ko sa UAAP, hindi ako kabahan.”
On the other hand, it was Busmion’s goal which sealed three valuable points for UST. Busmion made no mistake and provided a great finish for the tv cameras. “Chinip ko lang kasi nung nag dribble ako, tumigil na siya. Hindi na siya gumalaw kaya nakita ko yung mataas siya sa goal kaya na-chip ko na lang para ma goal.” Not bad for a guy who had to readjust his position on the pitch. “Mas solid kami ngayon kumpara dati kasi dati yung mga seniors, magagaling hindi nakalaro kaya nababa ako sa depensa, ngayon atake na ako dahil kumpleto na ang depensa.”
When Busmion was through on goal, he showed no signs of nervousness or any rush of blood whatsoever. He simply stated that he followed his coach’s orders. “Hindi, hindi. Alam ko naman na maganda yung through pass kaya alam kong wala namang tao sa likod ko. Sabi ni coach, ‘Pag sa harap ng goal, kumpyansa, kumpyansa talaga’, kaya yan yung ginawa ko. Hindi nagigil kasi sa training session nagigigil kami sa harap ng goal kaya hindi kami nagfifinish. Kaya kanina kumpyansa.”
Up 2-0 with roughly thirty minutes in the game left, UST showed signs of complacency. Busmion admitted that the Growling Tigers let loose which led to a consolation goal for the Soaring Falcons. He said, “Parang na-frustrate na ayaw na humawak sa bola. Natataranta na kami lahat.”
When Busmion was asked what he wanted UST to improve on, he only had one answer. “Focus. Kahit na lamang na, kailangan magpokus pa rin tapusin ang laro.” Likewise, Pasion had the same personal objective. “Maging focused ako, galingan ko atsaka kukuha ako ng goal para manalo kami.
There’s still a long way to go this season. However, the targets are clear according to Pasion. “Maging final four at makamit ang championship.” To achieve that, though, Busmion has three factors which he thinks that the Growling Tigers should adhere to. “Focus, kumpyansa pa rin at team work para manalo.”