UAAP 80 Men's Football: UP reigns supreme for the second time in three years

Santino Honasan on May 03, 2018 05:37 PM
UAAP 80 Men's Football: UP wins second title in three years
UP reigns supreme in the UAAP Season 80 Men's Football tournament

University of the Philippines completed an undefeated season and claimed their second title in three seasons after defeating University of Santo Tomas, 1-0, Thursday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium to capture the UAAP Season 80 Men's Football Championship. 

The Fighting Maroons, who finished the elimination round on top of the standings, used their trademark suffocating defense to keep the Growling Tigers chained in the early moments of the match. 

In the 21st minute, forward JB Borlongan launched a free kick that found its way on to defender Ian Clarino's striking range. 

The graduating UP captain volleyed the ball straight into the back of the net for the early advantage. 

UP's defense allowed them to continue to push the pace on the offensive end, with Borlongan and striker King Miyagi getting good looks that could've easily increased their advantage. 

Thankfully for the Growling Tigers, keeper Zaldy Abraham stepped up on the defensive end. 

Looking to pull even, UST came out more aggressive early in the second half, getting a number of chances off. 

It didn't take UP long to regain their groove on defense and they managed to again impose their will on offense, with the attack line getting their shots off, but ultimately unable to finish. 

With less than ten minutes left, UST found their best chance to equalize, with Dexter Benecio getting in perfect place for a header. 

Unfortunately for UST, Maroons keeper Anton Yared was there to make the save.

After ninety minutes, UP held on to once again take their spot on top of the UAAP Men's Football mountain.

"This bunch of boys, they are inspirational," said UP Head Coach Anto Gonzales. "From the first player to the last player, yung motivation, yung drive, yung selflessness, you couldn't ask for anything more. If you're a coach, grabe. Wala ka nang hihingin pa."

Clarino, who was named season MVP and Best Defender gets to end his UAAP career on a high note as well. 

"Sobrang happy na napanalo namin 'to. Win or lose naman, I know na ginawa namin yung best regrets kami this season."

UP claims their 18th men's football championship and their fifth in the last decade. 

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