Rookie Kintaro “King” Miyagi had himself a day, scoring a hattrick to help the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons defeat the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 4-1 to claim the UAAP Season 78 Men’s Football championship, Thursday evening at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Miyagi struck early, putting the Maroons up at the 28th minute, and it didn’t take long for skipper Daniel Gadia to add on to the UP lead, hitting in the 34th minute to make it a comfortable 2-0 lead.
Things got interesting two minutes later, as Ateneo’s skipper, Mikko Mabanag, converted one of his own, blasting the ball right through UP keeper Ace Villanueva from a 36th minute free kick.
Miyagi wasn’t done however, scoring his second goal of the night in the 70th minute and giving the Maroons a bit more breathing room.
Ten minutes later, the Cebuano rook would cap off his career night on the biggest stage of them all, by completing a hattrick in the 80th minute off a Bidar assist and then checking out of the match to a huge ovation by the Diliman faithful in attendance.
With ten minutes remaining in the match, the Atenean booters tried to chip at the deficit, but to no avail.
As the referee called for time, finalizing the result of the match, a sea of maroon and white flooded the Rizal pitch in jubilation while defender Ian Clarino and keeper Villanueva ran around the pitch, parading a banner that read “For Rogie”
“Ewan ko eh, when I slept yesterday, I dreamt of it talaga, mag-gogoal talaga ako ngayon.” Miyagi told ABS-CBN Sports. “I don’t know, maybe Rogie was there.”
From a slow start to dominating in the second round, semis, and finals, the Maroons appeared to get better as every game went by, and for team captain Gadia, who was also named the MVP, learning from their previous mistakes was something that they did all season.
“Keep on improving lang, every game. Lahat ng mistakes naming nung previous games, iniimprove lang namin sa next game.”
UP claims their sixth UAAP Men’s Football championship, their third in the last six years.