The University of Santo Tomas have taken the top spot from the De La Salle University after eight weeks in the PFF Women’s League despite a draw. The point brought them on level terms with the defending champions, but the Lady Booters of España lead by virtue of superior goal difference.
FEU, UST settle for a truce
The Far Eastern University drew their third straight game of the season. Still, it was a welcome one against league leaders University of Santo Tomas, whom they held down to 0-0.
FEU controlled most of the match, disrupting most of UST’s build-up play so the battle took place at midfield. Aging Rubio’s side tried everything from early rotation changes to different player positions, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Let Dimzon’s charges had more decent runs into the final third, only to sputter out in the end with the absence of a true finisher.
“Some of the players are [excused for an international friendly] with the national team, kaya kulang kami. Pero at least maganda pa rin yung nilaro ng mga bata,” Dimzon later revealed.
“We were able to dominate, especially the first half, pero since the previous games nagiging kulang talaga namin is yung finishing, yung mentality nila once they have the ball in front of the box,” she added.
Rubio had less concerns than her peer, attributing the lack of field training to her team’s sluggish showing.
“Iba pa rin kapag may field training talaga. Wala kaming field dahil ulan nang ulan, so kulang kami sa preparation pagdating sa endurance,” she said, before warning that it still should not be an excuse for her players to struggle with the execution of her system.
“Gusto kong maintindihan nila na kung napagod sila hindi nila puwedeng isipin yun kasi kung napagod yung isang player, the rest of the team magiging pagod na rin. Maganda naman yung laro ng mga bata. Kulang lang talaga siguro sa kaunting disiplina pa sa sarili.”
Asilo brace gifts Tigers first points
Tigers FC registered their first-ever league win off an inspired performance from Samantha Asilo when they took down a beleaguered Nomads FC 2-0.
With Nomads having an issue with their numbers, it was a great opportunity that presented itself to the Tigers, and they took it gladly. The mix of rookies and veterans from España dictated play and kept coming at Yasmin Elauria, who could only hold them off until the 40th minute.
Samantha Asilo’s strike put the Tigers on the board. She then doubled it up in the 85th minute en route to the victory, as her teammates celebrated as if they already won the championship.
“Sobrang saya. Ganoon talaga yung feeling kasi inaasahan na talaga namin na makapanalo, kahit isa man lang muna,” said an exuberant Geraldine Cabrera after the game.
“Nakita namin na yung mga bata, nagbibigay ng all talaga sila at nakinig sa instruction ng coaches. Yun yung pinaka-importante na nangyari sa game namin,” the coach added, before also sharing that she made sure her players were not distracted by the other team losing players one by one.
“Sa amin lang is mag-stick kami sa sistema namin, sa game na pinag-aralan namin, sa training. At ganun lang din ipapakita namin despite sa kung ano yung meron sa kabilang team. Wala, iniisip lang namin yung sarili namin kasi marami pa kaming pagkukulang.”
Stallion-Hiraya nabs second straight win off hapless UP
The University of the Philippines continued to slump as Stallion-Hiraya FC rose after their 3-0 victory over the collegiate team.
UP conceded a goal to Jennizel Cabalan in the opening five minutes, which proved to be a bad omen. A defensive lapse in the 34th minute turned the game into a nightmare for the collegiate team as Marianne Narciso doubled up the club team’s advantage.
A nifty pass from Cabalan led to Martie Bautista scoring the game’s final goal to seal Stallion-Hiraya’s victory and a boost up the standings, swapping places with UP.
“Our first win against a UAAP team, never did we doubt that we could do such feats. From a draw against FEU to a win here against UP… Hopefully, we’ll still be able to do more,” said Philip Dinglasan, who was delighted to celebrate his birthday with such a feat.
“Everybody was growing together with the tournament, I think it all just fell into place. We were still figuring out what was working for us, and then now we already see what’s the core and what really works. Everybody is also helping each other. It’s not all just training or game — it’s also the relationship with each other na they want to progress,” he added.
Layacan’s hat-trick lead GAU to deny Tuloy comeback in thriller
Green Archers United FC locked Tuloy FC in a back-and-forth battle ultimately decided by Marilou Layacan’s triple to clinch the win, 5-4.
Layacan’s lethal pace made itself known early with a strike in the 4th minute to stun the usually-poised Tuloy. By the time Nicole Andaya doubled the advantage six minutes later, Tuloy wasted no time to regroup for an answer.
With captain Isabella Bandoja leading the charge, Tuloy kept knocking on GAU’s door for the rest of the opening period. Their breakthrough came at the halftime mark, with Bandoja behind it. Two minutes into added time, Lanie Ortillo extinguished GAU’s advantage to bring the proceedings back on level terms.
Seven minutes after restart, Layacan gave the advantage back to GAU, with Bandoja pulling it back again six minutes later. In the 62nd minute, Mary Rose Obra put the Alabang-based squad ahead again. Layacan then doubled their lead after six minutes while notching a hat-trick in the process.
The climb would prove to be too much for Tuloy . They only managed to pull one back by way of Jenny Perez in the 88th minute, before eventually running out of time.
“Happy kami kasi nanalo kami in this game, kasi alam namin yung Tuloy ay young atsaka mabilis eh,” said coach Elvin Marcellana, who was proud of his team’s efforts that led to the upset of the top club.
“Strong team yung Tuloy so chineck namin yung mga combination nila, especially between Bandoja and [Jonalyn Lucban] kasi yun talaga yung play nila. So nag-check kami dun sa kanila, and decided na maging compact yung defending para ma-avoid namin yung mga through-passes nila,” he continued.
UST – 16 pts (+19 GD)
DLSU – 16 pts (+15 GD)
FEU – 10 pts (+5 GD)
Tuloy FC – 9 pts (+4 GD)
GAU FC – 9 pts (-5 GD)
Maroons FC – 8 pts (-8 GD)
Stallion-Hiraya – 7 pts (0 GD)
UP – 6 pts (-14 GD)
Nomads FC – 4 pts (-11 GD)
Tigers FC – 3 pts (-5 GD)
The PFF Women’s League continues on Saturday, September 21 at the PFF National Football Center. Tuloy FC and Far Eastern University face off at 8:00 A.M., followed by De La Salle University and Green Archers United FC at 10:00 A.M.
On Sunday, September 22, Maroons FC will battle familiar foes University of the Philippines at 8:00 A.M. while Nomads FC tiff with Stallion-Hiraya FC at 10:00 A.M.