DYNASTY! Lady Booters vanquish FEU to claim third straight title

Photo by: Dara Evangelista

Poised to win it all in the championship match, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Booters entered their final game of the season brimming with confidence as they faced the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws.

Indeed after 90 minutes of ball game, the Lady Booters delivered, pulling a 2-0 win over their rivals to be hailed as the champions of the UAAP Season 81 Women’s Football tournament yesterday, May 16 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

With the victory, La Salle cemented their dynasty off a third consecutive title that also allowed them to become the winningest team in the league’s history, bannering 11 championships. The Lady Booters broke what was erstwhile a shared record between them and, coincidentally, the Lady Tamaraws, whose number remained at 10.

La Salle and FEU kept the game tight after figuring out in a nil to nil scoring at the first half.

In the second half, Sara Castañeda capitalized on a free kick at the 53rd minute of the match. The 22-year-old midfielder found Rocelle Mendaño, who finished with a header to put La Salle up, 1-0. At the 79th mark, Shai Del Campo sent the ball at the back of the net for a 2-0 lead, sinking the Lady Tamaraws effectively.

During the awarding ceremony, the Taft-based squad bagged various individual awards led by Castañeda’s MVP and Best Midfielder prizes. After leading the Green-and-White in scoring, Del Campo claimed the Best Striker and Rookie of the Year awards. Tashka Lacson defended her Best Goalkeeper title.

Late defensive lapse against Ateneo costs Green Booters elusive title

Photo by: Drea Mateo

The drought continues for the Green-and-White after the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters fell short in their championship match against their archrivals Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles yesterday, May 16 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Ninety minutes was almost enough to determine the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football champions as the Green Booters looked to hang on to their slim 1-0 edge against the Blue Eagles. However, just right after four minutes of time was added in the regulation, a Jarvey Gayoso stunner off a costly defensive error tied the game at 1-all. That paved way to an extra time, where Ateneo overtook La Salle to steal the title.

The entire La Salle squad made a good effort in disrupting Ateneo’s offense, not allowing the ball to go to back of the net even with a series of corners and free kicks towards the break. The first half ended with neither team producing a goal.

Riding on the momentum they built from the first half, the Taft-based squad spit fire after another, but AJ Arcilla proved why he was hailed Best Goalkeeper this season.

At the 78th minute, the Green Booters finally struck first with a hard-earned strike from Mohammad Almohjili. Coming off the counterattack, the rookie striker ran past two defenders to tally another goal to his name.

Ateneo refused to wave the white flag and continued to step on the gas pedal, creating chances after chances. While La Salle thought the championship was secured under their belt, Jarvey Gayoso deemed otherwise. The eventual Season MVP and Finals MVP just needed one out of the four minutes added time to bring his team back in contention with a conversion from a through ball that caught the defenders off-guard. He almost made it double, but Mig Brosoto refused to concede the match, coming up with a crucial back-to-back save.

It was at the 99th minute that allowed the Katipunan-based squad to put one hand on the trophy following a Julian Roxas header. Getting the rebound off a saved attempt, Luca Alleje showed composure and kicked up a spectacular cross that made it easy for Roxas to put the go-ahead goal for Ateneo.

While the Green-and-White showed heart and fought hard until the last whistle, they still failed to equalize the game, handing the gold to the opposing squad.

The loss extended the Green Booters’ waiting game as they continue to try to snap their title drought. However, on the bright side, three Lasallians garnered individual awards with Shanden Vergara getting the Rookie of the Year award, graduating senior Yoshi Koizumi bagging the Best Defender prize, and team captain Jed Diamante claiming the back-to-back Best Midfielder award.

The Green Booters will miss the services of Koizumi, Alfonso Montelibano, and Gyan de Vera. Nevertheless, with 13 rookies in their current lineup, the future looks bright for the Green-and-White after the gained experience from this season.

UAAP Season 81 Finals Team Preview: DLSU Lady Booters

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

With the UAAP Season 81 down to its last two winner-take-all games, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Booters are looking to close out their campaign with a victory to seal their third consecutive title and stamp their dynasty in the Women’s Football tournament.

Highly favored to repeat this season, the two-time defending champions, led by team captain Kyra Dimaandal, promising rookie Shai Del Campo, and solid goalkeeper Tashka Lacson, opened the first round with a bang and 3-1-0 win-draw-loss record. Amidst their struggles in the second round, where they figured in three draws out of four matches, the Lady Booters managed to stay on top of the league.

Their 4-4-0 slate was enough to send them straight to the Finals, their fourth consecutive appearance. However, after facing UST in the last two editions, they are set to renew their rivalry with the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws this time around.

The DLSU-FEU rivalry is nothing new in the Women’s Football tournament, as the two have previously met in the Finals from Season 58 to Season 66. The Lady Booters have the edge though, taking five of those nine titles from the Lady Tamaraws. Both squads boast 10 championships each under their belts. Hence, it makes this season’s championship match a historic tie-breaker for the two winningest teams in the league’s history.

Although she has been in the Finals in each but one of her playing years, Dimaandal shared that the feeling is the same for the Lady Booters. “Same as last year, (we feel) nervous. We just want to defend the title.”

La Salle defeated the Morayta-based squad in their first encounter, before the latter figured in a draw with the Taft-based squad in their final assignments of the round-robin eliminations. Regardless of the elimination round results, the Dimaandal remains confident of her team’s chances.

“I know that we are capable of keeping the title in Taft. I trust that the girls will not settle for less than a championship,” she stated. The team captain continued, “The team is in good shape. We also have coaches that guide us in the game.”

Dimaandal knows that the title match will not be a walk in the park for them, just like any of their previous championships, “We need to improve on recovery from lapses and mistakes.” She ended, “We have to give not less than 101% and just want to win it more.”

Catch the DLSU Lady Booters in their final game of the season tomorrow, May 16, 2 PM at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

UAAP Season 81 Finals Team Preview: DLSU Green Booters

Photo by: Trinity Matias

In their last outing, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters stunned the defending champions UP Fighting Maroons to make their comeback to the biggest stage of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football tournament.

The Taft-based squad returned the favor to Diliman after the Fighting Maroons booted La Salle out in the semifinals last season. The victory gave the Green Booters not only their first finals appearance since Season 77 but also another chance to end their 20-year championship drought.

Ever since winning consecutively in Seasons 59 and 60, the Green Booters only had a couple of golden opportunities of adding one more to their three titles. However, they missed both as they lost to Ateneo in Season 68 and to FEU in Season 77. Could third time be a charm for La Salle in Season 81?

The Green-and-White are set to face their archrivals, the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, who are as well eager to bring the trophy back to Katipunan after failing to defend their title. The Blue-and-White were dethroned by UST last season.

A revamped La Salle team looked to surprise their opponents early into the season. Led by team captain Jed Diamante and a slew of rookies, the Green Booters finished the first round at second place with a record of 4-0-3. They then carried on with a final elimination card of 8-1-5.

Ironically, they suffered their only second round losses at the hands of their eventual playoff opponents, UP and ADMU.

In his team’s return to the championship round, Diamante still feels surreal. “It still feels surreal, but the team made it happen,” he said. The former Rookie of the Year will be playing in the Finals for the first time in his four-year career with the Green Booters. He continued, “We are excited to give our all for the community in this momentous match.”

The Green Booters’ captain admired the team’s desire to win. “Everyone wants it. Everyone is willing to sacrifice everything.” This statement reflected the Green Booters latest performance as they enter the Finals on a five-game run bridging Round 2 and the semis.

He specifically pointed out that in their last match against UP, “No one stopped until the final whistle.”

The top-seed Blue Eagles might be a tall order for Diamante and his teammates. Led by the league’s top scorer Jarvey Gayoso, Ateneo also banner their Finals experience, having been in the grand stage thrice over the last six seasons, and winning twice.

However, Diamante described the Finals as “a game of mentality.” The Green Booters are always capable of upsetting any opponent at any given time. He believes that they simply have to have the bigger heart on the pitch in order to win it all.

Support the DLSU Green Booters in their final game of the season tomorrow, May 16, 4:30 PM at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Green Booters clinch finals seat after ousting reigning champs UP

After missing the grand stage in the last three seasons, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters made their return to the UAAP Men’s Football Finals behind a 2-1 victory over the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons yesterday, May 9, at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

In their third meeting this season, La Salle avenged their semifinals loss in Season 80 against the eventual champions UP.

Team captain Jed Diamante dished a free kick to Jovan Marfiga inside the box, who scored the opening goal at the 20th minute. The Fighting Maroons came up with an answer as King Miyagi tied the game at 1-all at the 38th minute.

Shanden Vergara was a superhero anew after breaking the tie with a goal at the 77th minute, courtesy of an excellent assist from Mohammad Almohjili. His goal proved to be the last for both teams as La Salle emerged victorious.

The win sent the defending champions packing as the Green Booters clinched their first finals appearance in four years, or since Season 77, where they lost to the FEU Tamaraws.

Head coach Alvin Ocampo commended his team’s hard work. “We would not reach to the finals if all did not contribute.” For the past few games, Ocampo kept on shuffling his cards, giving almost everyone a chance to play and make an impact on the pitch.

As they head on to the finals, Ocampo knows that they will be going through enough preparations before everything else. “We need to be 100% healthy. Yun na ang pinakaimportant. Everything on the last game will be about heart and mental toughness.”

Vergara, who has been consistent all throughout the team’s campaign, showed grit once more after scoring the go-ahead goal. “It was a great feeling scoring for La Salle. I’m very happy that I scored, especially in a crucial match like this.”

The former De La Salle Zobel standout emphasized that they will continue to work hard until they get the crown. “We will prepare for the finals, which will be the most important game for us, especially for La Salle. We want to get that championship and we will work for it.”

The Taft-based squad have a chance to end their 20-year title drought as they return to the UAAP Men’s Football Finals. They last claimed the title in 1998 when La Salle won three of the last four championships from Seasons 57 to 60.

Support the DLSU Green Booters in their pursuit to bring back the throne to Taft as they face archrivals Ateneo on Thursday, May 16, 4:30 PM at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Late Zubiri goal catapults Green Booters to semis rematch vs UP

Photo by: Trinity Matias

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters made their return to the Final Four after winning their crucial match against the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, 1-0, on Thursday at the FEU Fern Diliman.

The victory gave the Green Booters an 8-1-5 slate and eliminated the UST Growling Tigers in the semis race. This also pushed them to the third seed, setting up a rematch with their Season 80 tormentors, the second-ranked UP Fighting Maroons.

It has been indeed a season filled with unpredictable and nerve-wrecking happenings. Now that we have reached the end of eliminations, the Taft-based squad finished strong with a win-draw-loss record of 8-1-5, placing third overall.

The Taft-based squad and the Morayta-based squad were aggressive to start the match. Although starting a bit slow offensively, La Salle made sure to keep their defense tight in order for FEU not to draw first blood. The Green Booters had a couple of chances in scoring, however, they just could not finish. Both teams engaged in a 0-0 first half scoring.

It was until the 90+1′ minute that the Green Booters were finally able to put themselves up on the scoreboard. Rookie Xavier Zubiri emerged as La Salle’s hero after scoring the go-ahead goal to sink FEU.

Head coach Alvin Ocampo believed that his squad did not back down until the final whistle has been blown. “They did not stop playing until the last minute, until they had fulfilled the instructions, which was to put the ball inside the net.”

Ocampo reminded the boys that “we have to make our destiny, we cannot rely to the result of other teams.”

Team captain Jed Diamante believed that everyone in the team really put their hearts during the crucial match. “Everyone in the team has an important role, even those who are part of the second stringers, they are always ready to play. I think everyone just wanted it that much to win para ma-hit namin ang first goal namin which is to enter the Final Four.”

Being part of the La Salle squad who were eliminated by UP, the reigning Best Midfielder vows that they “will enter with more passion and grit no matter who they are facing against.”

He added that they will prepare for UP but he wants to instill a certain mindset to his teammates. “Kahit sino yung opponent na itatapat, dapat same intensity ng play and same yung grit. That’s what I want to instill in their minds and their hearts para when it matters most so that when we (the seniors) graduate, yun ang maiwan namin na legacy sa younger generation ng La Salle Football.”

Support the Green Booters in the semifinals on Thursday, May 9, 2 PM at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Lady Booters look to continue winning ways in Round 2

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

After topping Round 1 with a win-draw-loss record of 3-1-0, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Booters look to sustain their run in the second round of the UAAP Season 81 Womenʼs Football Tournament.

The defending champions opened their campaign with a whipping of archrivals Ateneo, before engaging in a draw with UST. They then blanked UP and punished FEU for their second and third wins, respectively.

Shai del Campo emerged as the teamʼs top-scorer in the first round. The rookie has notched a goal in each of the Lady Booters outings, including four in La Salleʼs 5-1 win against FEU.

The national squad skipper mentioned that the results they got were all fruits of the teamʼs hard work. She added, “It was made possible because everyone in the team did their part.”

The three-peat-seeking squad is confident of the chemistry that they have. Being a factor that pushed each player to her best ability, the Lady Booters aim to continue such rapport along with the continuous trust in each member of the team as they keep their eye on the goal to get each game done until the championship.

“We just have to continue pushing and believing in ourselves and our teammates,” Del Campo stated.

Despite leading the standings midway through the season, the defending champions are still far from where they want to be. Committing mistakes is still inevitable for the team.

Kyra Dimaandal lamented the teamʼs inability to start strong. “We start kind of slow. We warm up slow to
the game.”

However, a sure identified strength of the reigning back-to-back champions is their capacity to see and recover from it and obtain a series of improvements every game. Moreover, Dimaandal rated their attacking as “good, considering we never really had a permanent play to follow.”

The Green-and-White have been progressively carrying out impressive attacks brought out by their training and finding the right mindset before each game.

Dimaandal considered their matchup against the FEU Lady Tamaraws as the game that accentuated the best performance of the team.

Prior to their match against FEU, which also happened to be their last assignment in the first round, the team was able to make the necessary adjustments. “We were already able to adjust, know what to do and what not to do,” Dimaandal shared.

Furthermore, most of their lineup was fielded as a result of their performance. The veteran added, “It was also the game where most of the girls in the lineup were able to play.”

The DLSU Lady Booters will kick off Round 2 against the UP Fighting Lady Maroons tomorrow, 9 AM, still at the Circulo Verde Pitch.

Green Booters complete comeback against first round tormentors UE

Photo by: Trinity Matias

After clinching their first win of the second round against Adamson University, the De La Salle University Green Booters conquered their succeeding match yesterday morning at the FEU Fern Diliman. The Taft-based squad defeated their first round tormentors, the UE Red Warriors, with a score of 2-0.

In the first half of the match, both squads have been exchanging possessions. Each team had opportunities to score but as they head towards the halftime break, both teams remained scoreless. Over the break, the Green Booters reviewed their plays and planned to improve their communication in the pitch.

As the second half started, the men in Green and White became very patient with their execution until they reached the 75th minute mark with rookie John Rhey Lagura tallying another goal next to his name which helped DLSU grab the lead from then on. When the full 90 minutes have been played, an injury time of 6 minutes was added to the clock. The Green Booters maximized this additional minutes to convert another goal as another rookie Jovan Marfiga scored once again for La Salle at the 90+2 minutes of the match.

The win against UE improves DLSU to a record of 6-1-5 for 19 points. The Green Booters will face the NU Bulldogs on the Thursday, April 25, 1:30 PM at the same venue.

Vergara scores brace as Green Booters return to winning column

After struggling to find their groove into the second round, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters return to the winning column after frustrating the Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons, 4-2, on Sunday at the FEU Fern Diliman.

Rookie John Rhey Lagura, who suffered from an injury back in the first round, got the chance to play again after getting inserted in the starting lineup of the Green Booters.

Adamson drew first blood as Pilarca maximized the opportunity to score a goal coming from a corner kick. However, just before the end of the half, Mateo Alegre managed to put up a game-changing equalizer to restore the morale of his team.

La Salle banked on an improved passing as the Green Booters were able to connect more in the second half. Lagura had a “welcome back” game after contributing a goal for his squad at the 63rd minute. Consistent scorer Shanden Vergara followed it up with another brace for the Green and White at the 67th and 69th minute. The Taft-based squad were up, 4-1, before Adamson converted a late goal for a final score of 4-2.

“Kailangan namin manalo kasi three games na kami hindi pa nananalo,” Vergara said. “We needed to win because crucial na and kailangan namin maging consistent as we move towards the end of eliminations.”

The Green Booters improved to 5-1-5 for 16 points as they hang on to their fourth place standing.

Head coach Alvin Ocampo, however, was not the most satisfied as he demands consistency from his team as they inch closer to the end of the eliminations. “We have to be consistent. We have to do better than our results during the first round.”

Ocampo emphasized that his team can score as early as the first half, and they do not have to wait for the second half to convert goals. “Kung kaya naman nila magtrabaho ng first half, then gawin na nila para makahinga ng konti ang team at para makalaro lahat ng players for their exposure, lalo na we are a very young team.”

The DLSU Green Booters will face their first round tormentors, the UE Red Warriors on Thursday, April 11, 9 AM at the same venue.

Green Booters still in quest for a win after losing against Ateneo

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters remain hunting for a win in Round 2 of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football Tournament after suffering their fifth loss at the hands of archrivals Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 1-3, earlier at the FEU Fern Diliman.

In their first round encounter, the Green Booters logged a 2-1 victory over the Blue Eagles.

The Taft-based squad looked to pick up where they left off as they grabbed the lead early in the game. Mauro Acot made an extraordinary long-ranger at the 10th minute. However, the Katipunan-based squad was quick to counter. Ateneo top-scorer Jarvey Gayoso put up his equalizer just six minutes later.

Rupert Baña and Mark Nacional connected at the 42nd minute as the Blue Eagles overtook the Green Booters, 2-1. Furthermore, Gayoso scored his second goal late at the 83rd minute as La Salle sank to 1-3.

The Green Booters dropped to a win-loss record of 4-1-5 with 13 points.

They will face the Adamson Soaring Falcons on Sunday, 9 AM, at the same venue.