UAAP Season 77 recap: DLSU Green Booters
Published on April 28th, 2015 | by Naomi Imbang
Despite a 9-5-0 win-draw-loss season dominance in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 77 Men’s Football Tournament, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters were unable to end their 17-year championship drought. Last season’s titleholder, Far Eastern University (FEU) defended their crown as they disputed DLSU’s attempt to renew their 1998 championship.
Prior to the first game of the regular season, DLSU suffered a one-man lineup deduction. Green Booter rookie Alfonso Montelibano was declared out for the season due to an Appendix injury that he obtained during the preseason preparation. Nevertheless, the Taft-based squad displayed an outstanding performance as they alternately demolished three out of their six foes in the 1st round of eliminations.
First half on-field events
In their opening game against University of the Philippines (UP), Chuck Uy established himself as an elite forward when he converted Gelo Bustamante’s corner kick assist, 1-1. The equalizer prevented the Green-and White squad from having a one-loss disadvantage. In a thriller match led by Nate Alquiros and Gerald Layumas, DLSU gained their 1st victory in a close battle against Adamson University (AdU), 3-2.
An intense battle between the two future finalists transpired in the clash of DLSU and FEU. The Morayta-based squad dominated most of the game with their commanding ball possession percentage while maintaining a one-point lead against DLSU. Later in the game, a referee call granted a penalty kick for Green Booter Alquiros that resulted in a crowd yeller equalizer. The scoreboard remained the same throughout the remainder of the game and resulted in a 1-1 stalemate. In contrast, an aggressive DLSU easily dismantled the University of the East (UE) in a 5-1 gruesome victory.
After the long break, Green Booters’ New Year celebration was halted by a goalless draw against their archrival, Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU).
DLSU was able to reestablish their offensive mechanism in the succeeding game facing the National University (NU). Uy complemented Layumas’ goal in stealing the 2-1 win.
Ending the first half with a bang, the Taft-based squad meticulously fought against the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Booters with a sneaked-in goal from Green Booter Zubiri, earning a 2-1 victory. At the end of the 1st half of eliminations, La Salle reigned having an undefeated 4-3-0 record.
Second half comeback
After a successful 1st round campaign, Coach Hans-Peter Smit and his team continued to intensify their collective effort in the second round of the tournament.
The Green and White squad continuously bagged wins against their competitors and ending the second half of eliminations with a 5-2-0 record in the tournament.
DLSU eventually faced rival, ADMU in a heated Final Four matchup. Creating a steadfast move, Green Booter Gelo Diamante scored at the 87’ mark of the game which gave La Salle a 1-0 win and a slot in the finals.
The championship game was the most emotional game for the Green Booters, after garnering a 2-2 draw until the 94’ mark. The Morayta-based squad got the advantage from the goal of Paolo Bugas and ending the campaign of the Green Booters with a devastating loss making DLSU the 1st runner-up of Season 77 Men’s Football tournament.
At the conclusion of the Football tournament, two of Coach Smit’s key players received individual awards: Rafael de Guzman was hailed as the Best Goalkeeper while Nathan Alquiros was named as the Best Midfielder.