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Winning the league solidifies Ceres’ principle-guided commitment to glory

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With two games to spare needing only just one point out of the possible nine, Ceres-La Salle FC took no chances in order to seal their fate once and for all. They became the newly-crowned champions of the United Football League (UFL) just in their debut season. Their latest achievement highlights the club’s mighty reputation as a winning team in its short history.

The task at hand was against Team Socceroo FC, currently the UFL’s lowest ranked team among active teams. It seemed like the easiest game Ceres has had in the league’s second round. Prior to last Saturday’s game, the Negrenses saw out four teams out of the league’s top six, to whom they only dropped two points in the process. Goliath underestimating David in a clash of top versus bottom may have been likely but Ceres-La Salle showed utmost respect to their opponents by playing clinical football. It ended 6-0 on the night, erasing any reasonable doubt about Ceres-La Salle winning the title.

Head Coach Ali Go shared that finding the right mix amongst a bunch of talented players was not as easy at it looks. Armed with a deep roster, Go’s squad achieved success by winning all but two of their matches throughout the season, somewhat coincidentally against Global. The willingness of everyone in the club, particularly players, to embrace their roles in the team is what the mentor attributes their success to. “We have a lot of superstars but we treat each and everyone the same. You have to let them play together,” Go said. Various circumstances, usually related to player performance, triggered Go to shuffle his army game in and game out in order to assure victory, which they claimed more often than not.

Looking at the bigger scale, Go witnessed Ceres-La Salle excel in all tournaments they have participated so far. “Every time we represent Ceres, we’re always gunning for a championship. With the help of the Lord and the team I think we did it almost all the the time,” the coach gratefully declared.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Winning the league solidifies Ceres' principle-guided commitment to glory News

Team Captain Juani Guirado celebrates with his team

Aside from sacrifices and masterful planning, Ceres-La Salle’s triumph is also based on the importance of respect in the club. Respect governs every move in the club and this principle made things smooth for the team, especially with regards to working together as a unit. “If you don’t respect anyone in this team, I think you’re not supposed to be in this team,” Go claimed. Respect is not exclusively internal as it also shows in the way they play their matches. There was a game against the Philippine Army back in the UFL Cup last May wherein Go reckoned that his team did not show enough respect to their foes, which disappointed him despite the win.

From players’ perspectives, skipper Juani Guirado and Martin Steuble spoke about a couple of factors that led the league champions to reach the summit. “It’s an unbelievable team. I saw extra work, not just in training. I think we deserve it because of the work we had,” the captain uttered. His teammate, Steuble, primed team spirit which pumped them all up to achieve a great goal. “We have a lot of talented players but we also know how to play together, You can’t win a championship if you only have individuals. We are a good team with a good team spirit,” he stated, echoing his master’s sentiments.

Not wanting to rest on their laurels, Ceres-still eyes glory by also taking home the UFL Cup and finishing the league by winning their last two matches. “We’ll still play it. We want to win all the games,” Go stressed. Their first match after being crowned UFL Champions is against Stallion on August 2. –LGT

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