San Beda beats LSGH on penalties to retain Juniors football crown
Santino Honasan on Jan 15, 2018 08:06 PM
BACK TO BACK. (File Photo)
The San Beda College Red Cubs survived a valiant College of Saint Benilde-La Salle Greenhills effort, beating the Greenies 3-1 on penalties to retain the NCAA Juniors football title, Monday evening at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
While San Beda dominated the shots in the first 45 minutes of action, it was CSB who came the closest to scoring, getting the ball into the back of the net but the goal was ruled off side.
The Greenies eventually took control in the second half, with Vin Dela Cruz scoring in the 63rd minute.
Senior Red Cubs striker JR Suba needed only six minutes to respond, as he drained the equalizer in the 69th minute.
Two minutes later, the Greenies would take the lead once more, courtesy of a Kobe Del Rosario conversion.
Again, it was Suba to the rescue for the Red Cubs, pulling the defending champions even in the 73rd.
Neither side would manage a deadlock-breaking conversion and the match headed into extra-time.
In the 109th minute, LSGH would again take the driver's seat as Dela Cruz's brace gave the Taft-based side a chance to extend the finals series.
For the third time in the match, Suba would rise to the occasion as he headed in a 118th minute equalizer to ultimately force a penalty shootout.
LSGH was the first to get on the board in the shootout thanks to a Jethro Borlongan attempt, but that would be the only time they'd get past San Beda keeper Jessie Semblante, who successfully denied all of the Greenies' succeeding penalty attempts.
With the title one conversion away, it was Semblante who stepped up to the spot and calmly beat LSGH keeper Joshua Gatchalian to clinch the championship.
"Hindi parin ako nawalan ng pag-asa," said Suba, talking about being down 3-2 with mere minutes left in the match. "Sabi nga ni coach Aris Caslib, hangga't hindi pinipito ng referee yung final whistle, wag kang susuko, may chance pa din."
"Ayun nga, dumating yung chance. Patience lang. Dumating yung goal." continued Suba, who finished with a hattrick in his final match as a Red Cub.
Suba was also named the season Most Valuable Player, and the season's Best Striker, with 20 conversions to his name.
San Beda's Semblante was named Best Goal Keeper, while teammate Eldwin Escoro was named Best Defender.
Red Cubs coach Jeff Cuayong was named Coach of the Year.
Other awardees include LSGH's Raphael Santos, who was named Best Midfielder, and University of Perpetual Help, who took home the Fair Play Award.
This is the 17th juniors football title for San Beda and their fourth in the last six seasons.