The DLSU Green Booters took home the inaugural Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association (IPPCA) Pre-Season Football Tournament championship last November 24 at the Ateneo de Manila University High School Field.
La Salle defeated the FEU Tamaraws on penalty kicks with a score of 3-1 after both teams failed to score during 90 minutes of play and a 30 minute extra time period.
“Naturally, we had extra motivation since it was a championship game and we really wanted to come into the UAAP as [pre-season] champions to give us confidence so we really wanted to win and thankfully we did it,” said DLSU team captain Patrick Deyto after the team’s resounding triumph.
After finishing the eliminations with an 8-0 drubbing against Perpetual, and winning against UST in the semifinals, the Green Booters handed the Tamaraw Booters its first loss in the tournament as the Green-and-White took home its first championship since the 2011 edition of the UniGames.
Deyto, who received a National Team invite last June, and sophomore Greggy Yang were named Best Goalkeeper and Best Defender of the Tournament, respectively.
Coming up clutch
Nathan Alquiros, Yang and Gio Diamante converted La Salle’s first three penalties to lead their team to the championship as three Tamaraw Booters missed three consecutive attempts.
Behind the efforts of the back four composed of Yang, Matthew Nierras, Jhoguev Ybanez and Gerald Layumas, the Green Booters kept its rivals at bay despite the Tamaraw Booters controlling possession for most of the game.
It was Deyto though, playing in his fifth and final year, who finished the tournament with a clean sheet as he prevented FEU from finding the back of the net. His game was highlighted by a save at the end of full time and another off a corner kick at the 119th minute.
“A championship is good and keeping a clean sheet also shows something about him, and I just wanted to help him out,” said Yang on Deyto.
A test of toughness
The first half was marred with several physical plays from the Morayata-based squad who attempted to intimidate Coach Hans Smit’s wards. The Green Booters remained unfazed and received several free kicks, but the team failed to capitalize on the opportunity and yielded to the Tamaraw Booters, which controlled the tempo during first 45 minutes of play.
In the second half, things got even more physical as Deyto was temporarily immobilized after an FEU attack on the goal. In addition, midfielder Hector Borromeo had to leave the game after an inadvertent kick in the 75th minute. A few minutes later, Diamante received the game’s only yellow card, though dubious, for unsportsmanlike conduct.
During extra time, both teams started to panic for the game-winning goal. Deyto had a clutch performance with four saves over the last fifteen minutes of the game, but Yang’s final free kick failed to lead to a goal which led the two teams into a sudden death duel of penalty kicks.
Next up: UAAP 75
With this championship locked, stocked and barreled, the Green Booters will look to do the same in the upcoming UAAP season.
“The UAAP is different and it’s much tougher, but we will give it our all. We really want to be champions as that has been our target for how many years so hopefully we get there,” added the graduating Deyto
The Green Booters will kickoff the team’s UAAP campaign on Sunday, December 2, at the ADMU High School Field. The team will face the Tamaraw Booters once again.