Despite not being one of the more illustrious names in the Far Eastern University squad that dominated the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Football Tournament, Viejay Frigillano’s defensive exploits earned him the Most Valuable Player award for the season.
Under Frigillano’s leadership, the Tamaraws only conceded 10 goals throughout the season. He played a key role in marshaling the backline last Thursday as FEU blitzed past Ateneo de Manila University to clinch their 10th championship in school history.
“It was a championship game. Di ko in-expect na ako yung pipiliin ng UAAP for this award. Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga teammates ko para sa championship,” said the Zamboanga native.
“As a defender, siguro nasanay na ako kasi starting football nagdedepensa na ako. In this game, championship, na-pressure ako kasi alam naman natin pag championship game, buhos din yung kalaban,” he continued.
“Parang mahirap para sa akin pero yung nga dahil sa tulong ng teammates ko, medyo gumaan yung trabaho ko.”
As one of the veterans on the team, Frigillano was named captain before the start of the season. He made his debut for FEU back in Season 81 and was part of the team that competed in the aborted Season 82.
Being named the captain of any team brings its own unique pressure. However, all the hard work paid off for him in the end with a championship and the MVP award.
“Para sa akin, ang pagpili coaches sa akin maging team captain ay napakahalaga sa akin kasi why me,” he said.
“Mahalaga to kasi feel ko mag-la-last year ako at di na ako lalaro next year so binuhos ko talaga lahat. Gui-nide ko sila from pre-season hanggang sa season.”
In the sport of football, more often than not, it is the attacking players who receive most of the praise. When it comes to this FEU championship side, players like Geri Martini Rey, Karl Absalon, and Gio Pabualan usually come to mind.
However, they wouldn’t be able to showcase their skills on the pitch if it weren’t for players like Frigillano who do the dirty work behind them.
“Sa larong football kasi, para sa akin, ang defender is parang siya na yung spine ng team. Kasi kung wala kang defender, di organize ang defending mo,” he said.
“Walang silbi yung atake kung wala kang defender. Parang ikaw yung spine. Ikaw yung power o ikaw yung core.”