Arellano survives CSB in extra time, now one win away from NCAA football title

AU survives CSB, moves a win away from NCAA football title
Jumbel Guinabang (27) scored a brace to help Arellano beat CSB in extra time and inch closer to their second NCAA men's football championship

Jumbel Guinabang his second goal late in extra time to help power Arellano University past College of Saint Benilde, 3-2, in match one of their best-of-three finals series, Friday evening at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

The action was frantic in the first half, with Guinabang striking first and scoring in just two minutes of action to give the Chiefs an early lead.

It didn’t take long for CSB to pull even, as Daniel Lozio found the equalizer just a minute later.

Arellano would regain the lead in the 25th minute, with Charles Gamutan beating two defenders and then shaking off Blazers keeper Jake Vicen for the 2-1 lead.

Once again, the equalizer came quick for CSB, as skipper Renz Tulayba fired from just outside the box to make it a 2-2 game.

As high-scoring as the first half was, the second half was the exact opposite, as neither side managed a conversion in the final 45 minutes of regulation, forcing an extra 30 minutes of action.

With three minutes to go in extra time and a penalty shootout looming, Guinabang came up with the last-minute conversion to put the Chiefs up 3-2.

CSB pushed the action in the remaining minutes of extra time, but could not come up with a third equalizer, giving the Chiefs a hard-fought win.

"Sobrang saya po, para sa akin, lalo na para sa team namin." Guinabang told ABS-CBN Sports following the grueling 120-minute match. "Nakita niyo naman po kung ano yung nangyari sa laro namin. Nagkaisa kami, hindi po namin inisip na sumuko, kahit na marami nang nagka-cramps sa mga kasama ko, kahit ako po. Pero hindi ko po inisip na gumive-up."

Arellano now finds themselves a win away from their second title in three years.

"Nakaka-kaba parin po siyempre, pero andun na rin po yung excitement na makuha yung champion ngayon." said Guinabang. 

Still, the Chiefs will need to take care of business against a Blazers squad who'll be looking to bounce back and extend the series.

CSB will try to even things up in match two, scheduled for Monday, January 15th, also at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Kick-off time will be at 6:00 PM. 

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