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Steven Anotado looks to make up for lost time

Towards the final 15 minutes of the clash between defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles and the UST Tiger Booters last Sunday, Steven Anotado did something he hasn’t done for at least two years: score a goal in the UAAP.

The UST striker grabbed the only goal of the match as the Thomasians held on to sink the Ateneans, 1-0. It propelled UST to the top of the table after four matches – just ahead of UP on goal difference.

The smile on Anotado’s face made it clear how happy he felt now that he could contribute to the Tigers’ cause.

“Sobrang swerte ko ngayong araw kasi may goal akong napanalunan at saka ‘di rin nasayang dahil sa teammates ko – sa depensa namin,” the 22-year-old told the media after helping his team record their third win of the season.

Out for two seasons, Anotado found it difficult on the sidelines. Even if his beloved UST reached the final four in both seasons, Anotado felt disappointed knowing that he wasn’t able to contribute towards their goal of winning the championship.UAAP-80-MFB-UST-dr-NU-Mantal-Anotado Steven Anotado looks to make up for lost time Football News UAAP UST  - philippine sports news

“Masakit sa akin na hindi ko matulungan ‘yung teammates ko.

“Sobrang sakit sa akin kapag nakikita ko ‘yung mga teammates ko na natatalo o pangit ‘yung laro,” the UST forward shared of his struggles.

Forced out by two torn anterior cruciate ligament injuries, one on each leg, Anotado admitted that there was a time he thought about giving up. Asked what made him stay committed to football, the Sports and Wellness Management major disclosed:

“Napaisip ako, ‘para saan ba ito?’ Inisip ko na na challenge lang ito para sa akin kaya alam ko sa sarili ko na babalik at babalik ako.”

And so, Anotado willed himself back to the scene. He worked hard to regain fitness and confidence. His efforts weren’t unnoticed as Coach Marjo Allado welcomed him back to the squad this season. “Na-excite ako noon. Inisip ko sa sarili ko na gagawin ko lahat,” he recalled.

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Eager to repay the institution that trusted so much in his abilities, the UST forward has rediscovered his scoring touch at the right moment. Disappointed in the 0-0 encounter against NU last Thursday, Anotado did not want the same thing to happen again when they faced Ateneo.

So when the opportunity was there for the taking, the striker seized on it to condemn the defending champions to their second loss in the season. More importantly, it guided UST to a key victory which has eliminated any doubt of them being labeled as title contenders.

Overall, it was Anotado’s 12th goal in the UAAP. He recorded 11 in his rookie season, showing immense promise amidst UST’s rebuilding season.

This time around, the pieces are starting to fall into place for Allado’s Tigers. Already making remarkable steps since Season 77, UST is poised to make a deep run once again this season. Now in the fray, Anotado feels confident about matching or even bettering his output from his sole previous UAAP campaign.

“Sa tulong ng teammates no, kaya ko pa. Motivation lang sa sarili at huwag gumawa nang pansarili – [dapat] para sa team,” the UST forward vowed.

The past four years had been a roller-coaster ride for Anotado. After experiencing the lowest of lows, maybe its high time for the striker to rise above the setbacks and, hopefully for UST, guide his team to the top.

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