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Tiebreaker Times


UAAP 85 BFB: Paciente’s goal at the death gives FEU-D 11th straight title

Ronmer Paciente scored late in extra time to gift the Far Eastern University-Diliman its 11th consecutive UAAP High School Boys’ Football, winning 2-1 in extra time over De La Salle-Zobel in the exciting final, Thursday at the UP Diliman Football Field in Quezon City.

The championship was the 11th straight for the Baby Tamaraws, who have one of the longest active championship runs along with University of the East in boys’ fencing. The title is also the first for the school in the season.

“I am very proud of the team right now. They left everything on the pitch. For some of them, this experience tested their composure. Going down a goal and having to fight back in the second half, I think the character of the boys really showed,” FEU Diliman coach Vince Santos said.

“This is so big because in the previous years, for the players before it was their turn, but because of the pandemic, we just assembled this team six months ago. We have just one who played the last season, so this is a brand new team for us.”

The rookie out of San Agustin International School made a timely run into the left flank as a lovely through ball from league-leading scorer Nickos Mamon connected to substitute Arvin Alayon. Paciente then blasted the ball into the net with just seconds left in the match.

Umi Abelarde took charge of taking the free kick for the Junior Archers after Baby Tamaraws were called for a foul in just the eighth minute of the match. The ball swerved into the goal and over the opposing goalkeeper Borg Conopio for the go-ahead goal.

#ReadMore  UAAP Season 85 opens on Oct. 1

That go-ahead was a product of DLSZ’s aggressiveness on the attack at the onset of the match, pushing the shockingly passive Baby Tamaraws on the back foot for most of the opening half.

FEU-D, though, eventually got some runs on its final third working in the second period, but nothing bothered Junior Archers’ keeper Jason Salavante as his teammates took care of some of the balls into his box.

Ralph Gregorio made a spectacular goal-line clearance in the 57th minute, then Viggo Herce stopped an offensive run, 18 minutes after.

The Baby Tamaraws had chances to save its championship streak late in the second-period added time, but none more important than that run from Paciente with just a minute or so left. Paciente struck and finally breached Salavante’s guard for the last-gasp equalizer setting up the extended battle and his eventual winner.

FEU’s Edgar Aban Jr. was adjudged the Most Valuable Player, while DLSZ’s Justin Ched Concepcion took the Rookie of the Year honors.

FEU’s Mamon, who finished with 10 goals in the season, took the Best Striker plum, as fellow Baby Tams Conopio and Bryan Villanueva bagged the Best Goalkeeper and Best Defender awards. Junior Archers’ Jiam Caraig midfielder got the top plum in his position to complete the awardees.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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