Ateneo takes football round of the #BattleOfKatipunan
Santino Honasan on Feb 26, 2017 05:05 PM
Lorenzo Ceniza, second from left, celebrates with his teammates after scoring against UP, Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium
A single goal from rookie Lorenzo Ceniza was all that was needed for Ateneo de Manila to take the football round of The Battle of Katipunan, as the Blue Eagles squeaked past defending champions University of the Philippines, 1-0, Sunday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, to pick up their sixth straight win in UAAP men's football action.
Known for their suffocating defense the defending champion UP squad clamped down on the high-scoring Ateneo offense in the first 45 minutes of action to take the match into halftime with a 0-0 scoreboard.
UP started strong in the second half, good attempts from King Miyagi and Daniel Saavedra.
Ateneo's Jarvey Gayoso and Ceniza saw their own chances prove fruitless as well.
In the 70th minute however, Ceniza made good on an attempt after recovering a deflected shot giving the Blue Eagles the lead, much to the delight of the Ateneo faithful in attendance.
Looking to avoid their first L of the year, the Maroons tried to push their offense and put pressure on Ateneo's defense, but rookie keeper AJ Arcilla stepped his game up and prevented any Maroon equalizer.
"It's hard to play UP, pero when they play their best, talagang kaya nila," Ateneo head coach JP Merida said of his boys post match. "Maganda yung adjustment nung game."
Merida also spoke highly of Ceniza, one of Ateneo's many talented rookies this season.
"Every game, talagang nagpeperform siya, para sa akin, talagang one of the best players sya."
Ateneo improves to six wins and 18 points in the season, still in solo first place.
UP remains in third place with three wins, one draw, and one loss for ten points.
The Blue Eagles are a win away from sweeping the first round, but their last game will be a tough one as they close out round one against second-seeded FEU, who are also perfect so far this season with four wins.