UAAP 81 Football: 'I won't focus on that first' - Jarvey Gayoso keeps mum about UAAP future
Santino Honasan on May 17, 2019 11:02 AM
"I’m happy to be a champion again, the team, we just want to focus on rewarding ourselves for what we’ve done today and what we did this season," - Jarvey Gayoso
For the second time in the last three seasons, the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles are once again the UAAP Men's Football champions following a dramatic come-from-behind 2-1 win over collegiate rivals De La Salle University in a Season 81 finale that needed to go to extra time.
And once again, at the forefront of that title run was none other than star striker Jarvey Gayoso.
It was the fourth-year man who scored in the first minute of injury time to force a 30-minute extension, which then led to a Julian Roxas go-ahead goal to seal the title.
But as the Blue Eagles celebrate their eighth men's football plum, one question remains: Will Jarvey Gayoso be back for his final UAAP season?
The 22-year old has emerged as one of the country's most promising football talents, with two UAAP championships, two UAAP Most Valuable Player honors, and four consecutive Best Striker awards to his name in his four years in the collegiate ranks.
The third-generation athlete has also recorded stints with the senior national team.
As such, Gayoso has recieved offers from professional clubs - local and international - who would love to have the scoring savant on their roster.
For now however, Gayoso says he isn't focusing on the future, and instead would like to enjoy the now.
"I won’t focus on that first. We just won, so that’s my focus for now. It’s hard to focus [on that]," Gayoso told media following Ateneo's title win. "I still have finals, I still have school to focus on, at the moment, that’s not in my mind."
"I’m happy to be a champion again, the team, we just want to focus on rewarding ourselves for what we’ve done today and what we did this season," he added.
Ateneo head coach Jaypee Merida, who captured his third championship as a mentor, reiterated that the decision to come back for a fifth and final UAAP season or not, ultimately rests with the prized striker.
"For Jarvey, bibibigay ko palagi kay Jarvey yung decision," Merida said. "For me, of course, if I’m a coach sa club, talagang gusto kong kunin si Jarvey. Ibibigay namin yung decision sa kanya and if he wants to play one more year, of course we’re very happy."
"If hindi na, then of course we will need to accept that kasi decision niya yun," Merida continued.
In the six seasons prior to Gayoso's arrival in the UAAP seniors division, Ateneo only had one finals appearance and one title. In his four years donning the Blue and White, Jarvey has helped lead the Blue Eagles to three Finals berths and two championships, which speaks to the impact that he has had on the Katipunan-based university's football program.
Whether or not Gayoso returns for a fifth and final UAAP season remains to be seen. What is sure however, is that he will go down in history as one of the best to ever represent Ateneo on the pitch.