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Football

Stephan Schröck takes Pocholo Bugas under his wing


Pocholo Bugas surprised a lot of people when he decided to join United City FC.

In the process, the 18-year-old product of Far Eastern University-Diliman will no longer play college football, as he now turns pro. He tallied 11 goals and 10 assists in his last two years in the UAAP.

Though it was a tough decision to make, he confided that it was necessary.

“Hindi na po ako mag-FEU, pero undecided po ako kung sa’n ako mag-aaral. Tapos ngayon online ‘yung classes, mahirap po kasi mahal ‘yung tuition tapos online lang,” said the UAAP Season 82 Juniors Football Most Valuable Player.

“Pero soon, babalik din po ako para mag-aral.”

Though it was a shocker for some to see him on the road less taken, it was a long time coming.

During the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Bugas, who was part of the Under-23 Azkals team, grew close with veteran Stephan Schröck.

And it was the 33-year-old Fil-German who told him to try his luck in the pros.

“Kasi nung SEA Games, na-call up po ako ‘di ba? Nakausap ko si Schrock nun na kung ano plans ko. Depende na lang kung ano mangyari, sabi ko,” he shared.

“‘Yun, naging close kami ni Schrock tapos nag-try ako sa kanila,. Nagka-contact sa management, tapos nag-tryout.”

Schröck said that he grew fond of the young Davao native because of his eagerness to learn and come under his wing.

Moreover, Bugas reminds Schröck of himself and fellow Ceres player OJ Porteria.

“I saw him at the SEA Games and I saw a lot of similarities with him and OJ and with me. He really has a huge potential and he’s a very good work ethic,” said the 2019 PSA Mr. Football awardee, who has six international goals to his name, about Bugas.

“He’s very eager to learn.”

Schröck would watch Bugas’ games over at Rizal Memorial during his final season with the Baby Tamaraws.

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He then took the young gun under his tutelage.

And so when decision time came, it was easy for Bugas to choose, knowing that he is in safe hands.

Meanwhile, Schröck vows that he will continue to guide Bugas in his new journey with United City.

“I will help him on and off the pitch to adjust to the whole new situation. He could be a big, big surprise and bring in new era of his age group to the league besides the ADT. He’s all in all a very good kid and a smart kid the biggest talent right now.”

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