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(C) Nicks Hernandez/UAAP Season 86 Media Team


Rookie Alfonzo Gonzalez attributes heroic saves to UP’s support, confidence

As University of the Philippines gears up for the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Football Tournament final this Thursday against Far Eastern University, it has rookie goalkeeper Alfonso Gonzalez and defender Angelo Pagdanganan to thank for allowing it to reach this far.

Gonzalez made key stops against University of Santo Tomas during the penalty shootout. Meanwhile, Pagdanganan converted the winning spot-kick as UP prevailed 8-7 on penalties after the match finished 2-1 in extra time.

“As a first year in UP, it all comes down to the welcoming of my teammates and coaches,” said Gonzalez.

“It feels like a home every time I train no matter what. Every time, they would just boost me with confidence, and do anything they can to improve my performance. It all comes down to that – my teammates and my coaches.”

“Same with the penalties, nagbigay talaga kami ng tiwala sa isa’t isa. Yun yung puhunan namin: yung tiwala at saluhan,” said Pagdanganan.

UAAP86-MFB-Angelo-Pagdanganan-7354 Rookie Alfonzo Gonzalez attributes heroic saves to UP's support, confidence Football News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

(C) Nicks Hernandez/UAAP Season 86 Media Team

For Gonzalez in particular, his save against Andrew Gregg Ramos in the penalty shootout completed a redemption story within the match.

The rookie from Brent International School, Manila, gave the opening for TJ Garciano to score for the Golden Booters during normal time, but he more than made up for it when it mattered the most.

“From what happened for the goal, all I could think of was to find a way to make it up to my team,” he said. “I believe that this penalty shootout was the best opportunity to make it up to the team. I was able to save at least one and I believe that helped the team win.”

“We were fortunate enough that Alfonso was able to make the save during the penalty shootout. But again kudos to UST, they really took their chances in front of the goal,” said coach Popoy Clarino.

“It was a fantastic save.”

UAAP86-MFB-Jose-Gonzalez-8427 Rookie Alfonzo Gonzalez attributes heroic saves to UP's support, confidence Football News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

(C) Nicks Hernandez/UAAP Season 86 Media Team

UP’s reward for outlasting UST in the Final Four is a date against defending champion Far Eastern University for the championship.

#ReadMore  Ateneo, UP, La Salle headline 16-team field for Pinoyliga Collegiate Cup

The Fighting Maroons will try to win their first title since Season 80 and their 19th crown overall.

It promises to be a good game between both teams as they split their elimination round assignments. FEU won 4-2 last February 25, while UP prevailed 2-0 last April 25.

This is a championship match 15 years in the making, and the Fighting Maroons are ready to give everything on the pitch to finish the job.

“All I can say is we’re gonna come back stronger, better than the second rounnd,” said Gonzalez.

“We’re gonna take the game to them because, as a team, we don’t want our seniors to leave without a championship. We’re hungry for it.”

“Of course, we want to give back to the UP community. It’s a way of showing our appreciation to them for the support they have given us. We aim to give our very best inside the field by offering ourselves,” said Clarino.

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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