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 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.

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.

Green Booters split elims series against defending champs

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters remained winless in Round 2 of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football tournament after bowing to the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, 0-2, yesterday at the FEU Fern Diliman.

The defending champions put themselves on the scoreboard after Karl Bugayong nailed a header in the seventh minute of the match. The Fighting Maroons held control of the ball for most of the first half to prevent the Green Booters from scoring.

La Salle saw improvements on both ends of the game in the second half. Unfortunately, just a few minutes coming off the break, King Miyagi tallied another goal at the 51st minute. The Taft-based squad had their chances as Shanden Vergara almost put DLSU on the scoring board. However, they could not keep up with the time as the whistle blew with a final score of 0-2.

The DLSU Green Booters (4-1-4) look to bounce back on Thursday, 3:30 PM, at the same venue as they face their archrivals Ateneo Blue Eagles.

Green Booters log first draw match of the season after late UST goal

Photo by: Trinity Matias

To the start of the second round of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football Tournament, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters ended up in a 1-1 draw with the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers yesterday, March 24, at the FEU Fern Diliman.

The protagonists figured in a scoreless first half despite several attempts made.

Come to the second half of the match, more action came into place as the Green Booters improved their communication on the pitch. At the 74th minute, rookie Shanden Vergara powered through the defense of UST and struck a goal for the Taft-based squad.

However, with six minutes added to the full 90 minutes of the game, La Salle just could not hang on to claim the win. UST’s Miguel Mercader managed to score an equalizer just seconds before the final buzzer sounded.

The DLSU Green Booters (4-1-3) remained at second place with 13 points. They will face the UP Fighting Maroons on Sunday, March 31, 3:30 PM at the same venue.

With rout of archrivals, Green Booters rank second after Round 1

Photo by: Rina Mutiangpili

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters ended their first round on a high note after hanging on to defeat their archrivals, the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 2-1, last Thursday, March 21, at the FEU Fern Diliman.

Coming off a 1-2 loss against the FEU Tamaraws, veteran Rael Montelibano steered La Salle with two goals in the first 24 minutes of action. The Green Booters showcased their defense through the rest of the time to keep the lead and win the game.

The Taft-based squad started very strong in the first half as they showed enough chemistry to put DLSU up in the scoreboard at the 13th minute. Rookie sensation Shanden Vergara dished an excellent assist that made it so easy for Montelibano to finish and give La Salle an early 1-0 lead. Just a few minutes later, the latter followed it up with a header at the 24th minute.

Ateneo answered right away with Rupert Baña returning the favor at the 26th minute of the match.

The Katipunan-based squad remained aggressive with several goal attempts in the second half. At the 88th minute, Roxas on a corner kick found Roque for an easy goal. However, La Salle goalkeeper Gab Villacin was once again spectacular doing what he does best, as he did not let Ateneo score what would have been an equalizer.

La Salle improved to solo second with 12 points and a win-draw-loss record of 4-0-3. They remain behind FEU, who have 15 points.

The DLSU Green Booters will open their second round campaign against the UST Growling Tigers later, March 23, 3:30 PM at the same venue.