Manila Digger has overtaken Tuloy at the top of the standings with nine points after winning three consecutive matches in the PFF Women’s League last weekend.
Far Eastern University and De La Salle University also notched big wins, while University of the Philippines and Nomads split points in a draw.
Despite being the last team to join the competition, Far Eastern University showcased championship form as defending PFF Women’s Cup and UAAP champions, defeating Kaya 4-0.
A bullish Kaya team was looking to follow up their opening day win with another victory, only to be stopped in their tracks by FEU. Carmela Altiche provided a big reality check with a goal in the first 2 minutes.
Dionesa Tolentin made matters worse for Kaya when she doubled the scoreline six minutes later. The captain later completed a brace with another strike in the 65th minute.
“May pressure as [Cup and UAAP] champions, pero hindi namin iniisip talaga kasi marami pa kaming puwedeng gawin para makuha ulit,” enthused Tolentin. “Every game iisipin nalang namin na yun yung championship game namin para kung ano man mangyari, ginawa namin yung best namin.
“Masaya lang talaga kasi one month kami hindi nagsama pero nandun pa rin yung chemistry sa bawat isa,” she continued.
FEU gave Kaya no room to find answers, with Sarahgen Tulabing adding another goal in the 29th minute, asserting their dominance with their first league win.
Manila Digger continued to impress, this time defeating Azzurri 3-0 for its third straight victory.
Azzurri struggled to find their groove in the match, and the Diggers capitalized on this with waves of offensive attacks into their side of the field, culminating in a 21st-minute goal from Roselle Lecera.
The Diggers added to their arsenal for their third match with the activation of Ghanaian import Candida Quarshie, who terrorized the Azzurri defense. The striker found the back of the net in the 23rd and 29th minutes.
“I’m very happy and glad to join this team and actually we all trained together and train our minds together and we all motivate ourselves that we will win this match and we surely won,” said Quarshie, who also revealed that her debut game happened to be on her birthday. “The game was very nice and I just motivated myself that I needed to score. That’s a good game for me, and I felt good.”
University of the Philippines and Nomads were both desperate for points, resulting in a 1-all draw after 90 minutes.
The match was a close contest between two sides unwilling to give the other an inch, with keepers Hazel Arce and Roxanne Eduave stepping up for Nomads and UP, respectively.
Offense ultimately triumphed over defense as Joyce Semacio outran her defenders for an opening Nomads goal in the 50th minute. The script flipped when it was UP’s turn to score, as a pinpoint through ball from midfield found Anya Fuentes in the wings for an equalizer fifteen minutes later, showcasing the evenness of the proceedings.
“I think what’s important is we continue to learn every game and the performance [earlier] showed naman na we really did give our best effort and that the team really wants to improve individually and as a unit,” remarked UP captain Cara Cachero.
“Despite the loss on our first weekend, I saw how much fight we have in each one of us and everyone surely took notes on what we had to improve on in our upcoming games. Against UP, our team definitely showed more confidence and became more vocal. I think we really showed more of what our team could be in this league,” said Nomads captain Stacey Arthur.
De La Salle University continued to display its dominance of the league with another big win, this time against another UAAP team, defeating University of Santo Tomas 4-1.
UST had their hopes up when Samantha Asilo struck first in the 27th minute. However, this unleashed Angelica Teves to take over the show and be DLSU’s lone scorer and undisputed match-winner with goals in the 31st, 56th, and 76th minutes, including a stoppage-time penalty in the first half.
“Siyempre masaya pero at the same time ‘di pa rin kami magkampante dapat. Sobrang malaking bagay na maka-six points, basta every game ipapakita namin lahat ang best namin. One game at a time lang,” said the high-scorer.
Teves’ efforts have catapulted her to the top of the scoring leaders with 9 goals after two games, with Tuloy’s Isabella Bandoja as her nearest rival with 6 goals.
Manila Digger – 9 pts (+9 GD)
Tuloy – 6 pts (+12 GD)
DLSU – 6 pts (+10 GD)
FEU – 3 pts (+4 GD)
Kaya – 3 pts (0 GD)
Nomads – 1 pt (-4 GD)
UP – 1 pt (-12 GD)
UST – 0 pt (-4 GD)
Stallion Laguna – 0 pt (-5 GD)
Azzurri – 0 pt (-10 GD)
The PFF Women’s League continues on Saturday, July 15 at at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona where De La Salle University will take on Far Eastern University at 4:00 p.m. followed by University of Santo Tomas and Tuloy at 6:30 p.m.
On Sunday, July16, Manila Digger will face Stallion Laguna at 4:00 p.m. before University of the Philippines and Azzurri at 6:30 p.m.
The games will be broadcast live on the Facebook page of the PFF Women’s League