by John Edison Ubaldo
BACOLOD City – The University of the Philippines Men’s Football Team settled for silver in the 2013 Philippine University Games after suffering a 4-1 championship loss to hometown favorite University of St. La Salle Monday at Panaad Football Stadium.
It may be a painful finals beatdown but for UP Head Coach Anto Gonzales, his team has already exceeded expectations after getting knocked out in the quarter finals last year.
“Yung training program namin nag-suffer kasi wala kaming available pitch sa UP. So really magandang achievements na for the boys to get into the finals,” said Gonzales.
The USLS Stingers, who finished second to Far Eastern University last year, dominated ball possession and displayed superior football prowess to completely outplay the visiting Maroons. Joel Bedia put the La Sallians ahead in the 23rd minute off a pass from J Bagiuoro.
Korean import Byeong Jun Yoon then had to misfire four attempts inside the box before finally giving USLS a 3-0 cushion with back to back goals in the 41st and 42nd minute.
The Maroons went more physical in the second half and tried to mount a comeback as Negrense Jinggoy Valmayor sent a nifty pass to Daniel Gadia, which the latter sent to the left corner, 3-1.
The Diliman booters continued with their rally but the hometown bets denied any letdown, scoring another goal in the 72nd minute courtesy of Baguioro to finally seal the championship.
During the semi finals, UP defeated fellow UAAP contender National University, 3-1. The Bulldogs finished with bronze, scoring a lone goal against De La Salle University in the battle for third.