UAAP 81 Football: Revenge on UST's mind ahead of UP rematch
Santino Honasan on Mar 10, 2019 03:39 PM
"Gutom na gutom kami kasi gusto namin sila bawian talaga, simula last year pa lang nung natalo kami sa Finals, gutom kami, gusto namin bawian ang UP, yun yung naka-set sa utak namin," - UST's Conrado Dimacali Jr.
University of Santo Tomas was finally able to break their four-game winless slump after coming back from a goal down to defeat University of the East, 3-2, Sunday morning in UAAP Men's Football Action.
UST began the season with a dominant 3-1 win over DLSU and then racked off three consecutive draws to Adamson, NU, and FEU, before absorbing a devastating 5-0 loss to the struggling Ateneo de Manila.
Back on track, UST now looks forward to their first-round ending showdown with defending champions University of the Philippines, a rematch of last season's Finals.
UST head coach Marjo Allado says that while the primary focus is to win the match and gain the maximum three points to close out the first round of the tournament, gaining a measure of revenge on the Fighting Maroons is definitely a motivation for the Growling Tigers.
UST and UP go head to head on Thursday, March 14th at the FEU Diliman Football Field in Quezon City.
UP is currently tied for second place in the standings with nine points, while UP is at six points after suffering back-to-back losses to DLSU and FEU.
"UP is one of the most disciplined teams eh, and last year din, tinalo kami sa Finals diba? Ibig-sabihin yan yung motivation namin, sa lahat ng players, na talunin si UP eh, kaya this Thursday is going to be a good fight eh," said Allado. "Ina-anticipate namin na yan si UP, yung disiplina nandiyan, pukpukan yung laro so nagpe-prepare na din kami diyan. Of course, i-troubleshoot namin sa training sessions yung first eleven."
Allado adds that his boys are coming into the match with the mentality that they are every bit as good as UP is, so it all comes down to who will flinch first.
"Yung mentality ng players dito, kung ganyan si UP, ganyan din si UST. So I think, pag-naglaro na kami, it’s a matter of puso. Kung sino yung mag-gigive up, sino yung bibigay, ‘yan yung matatalo eh."
Also serving as motivation for the Growling Tigers, Allado adds, is their eagerness to show that they have what it takes to take down the defending champions, who boasts four players who were called up for the recently-concluded AFF Under-22 Championships.
JB Borlongan, Ray Sanciangco, Kyle Magdato and Dane Saavedra all saw National Team duty before suiting up for the Fighting Maroons in UAAP Season 81.
"They have good players, kasi nandiyan yung National Team players nila, so it’s a motivation din dito sa UST na ‘National Team kayo? Part kayo ng Under-22? Ipapakita namin na kaya namin na labanan kayo,'" Allado expressed.
For Conrado Dimacali Jr., the Growling Tigers' main man on offense this season, he and his teammates have been chomping at the bit to get a chance at vengeance on the Fighting Maroons.
"Gutom na gutom kami kasi gusto namin sila bawian talaga, simula last year pa lang nung natalo kami sa Finals, gutom kami, gusto namin bawian ang UP, yun yung naka-set sa utak namin," expressed the third-year striker.
While the Finals rematch is something that the fans and the players are looking forward to, Allado maintains that the main objective is still to get the win and the three points to be able to end the round on a strong note.
"At the moment, elimination round, yung focus namin is yung points eh, yung points talaga."
"Pagdating sa excitement, yung players dito, gustong-gusto talaga nila kalabanin yung UP, sukatan eh. Naririnig ko sa training sessions na nagpe-prepare sila against UP, parang revenge sa finals, and how many times na din kasi kami natatalo sa UP sa championship eh, so minsan nanggagaling na din sa players, sinusundutan na lang naming mga coaches kung ano yung kailangan talaga. So far naman, ready naman sila," Allado concluded.